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C++ Wars: 

Borland vs. Microsoft 

Is NetWare Lite 
Too Lite? 

in Memory * 

and Storage page 1 so 


$3.50 U.S. A./$4.5Q IN CANADA 


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Gateway 2000; 

Now Serving 
PCs With foe 











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We have a brand-new application software buffet. When you buy a Gateway 2000 system, you get to 
choose one free software package from a smorgasbord of offerings. 

re's a new fax/modem card on the menu, too. It's the Gateway TelePath - a 14,400 bps modem 
with full fax capability. The card comes with WinFax Pro j^ A ^ 

alk for Windows, plus a free CompuServe ^to) tf^~ -" 

bership, all for $195. 

If you have an appetite for savory new video options, 
we have 'em. We're introducing the Gateway 2000 Crystal 

Scan 1572FS - a 15-inch flat, 

square, non-interlaced color monitor with front controls. And the 
Graphics Ultra, ATI's sizzling graphics accelerator, is now on the 
menu at Gateway 2000. 

Of course we're still serving your old favorites - the hottest PCs 
at the best prices on the market. We have seven great systems in our 
main course selections, from a 286/16 to a 486/33 EISA. 


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through our other ad in BYTE for all the details about 

t's new from Gateway 2000. When you get the scoop, 1 
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Can You Get 
The Best Byte 

For Your 


Sometimes sharing will 
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Now there's a LaserJet fast 
enough and smart enough to 
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The HP LaserJet IlISi printer. 
A 17ppm powerhouse 
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And multiple users. 

With the LaserJet IlISi, your 
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Even on the most complex 

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Adobe and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. 
Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. 
♦Suggested U.S. list price. © 1992 Hewlett-Packard Company PE12106 


• 17ppm 

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• Optional Novell, Microsoft* 
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LaserJet Printers 




March 1992 Volume 1 7, Number 3 



Windows on the Road 

PAGE 208 




As the 32-bit, scalable Windows NT 
inches closer to reality, Novell is 
clearly concerned about the long term. 
The solution: Novell is throwing in 
its lot with Unix. 

A New Unix Standard 

Hewlett-Packard again sets a 
standard for workstation price 
and performance. 

Battle of the Heavyweights 

The C market leaders slug it out. 

42 Dell System 325NC, 

a color notebook that destroys 
the $5000 barrier 

Twiddler, a typing alternative 
y that fits in your hand 

System Sleuth 
Professional 4.0 
Professional 2.0, 

advanced system 
diagnostics keep up 
with technology 


Truevision's new 
live video/VGA card 

Grammatik V 
for DOS, it sports 
interesting new 
features but won't 
cause corporate 
wordsmiths to fear 
for their jobs 


Mobius gives you the Mirage IPS 
system for Unix; Xircom connects 
you to Token Ring; and more. 

122 Software Without Walls 

Distributed object management systems can fuse diverse distributed applications 
and data into seamless information systems. 

131 System Bus or System Bottleneck? 

The 32-bit EISA and Micro Channel buses are not living up to their potential. 

145 The Birth of the Microprocessor 

On the twentieth anniversary of its introduction, a retrospective. 

155 Classic Languages, Part 6: BASIC 

Despite its educational roots, this language has become the most widespread 
and most commonly used on microcomputers. 


Overview: Scaling the Memory Pyramid 

Memory and mass-storage subsystems traditionally lag behind the theoretical 
performance limits of CPUs. Systems designers are minimizing the performance 
penalty by organizing storage 
in a hierarchy of speed and 

175 What to Stash in a Cache 

Today, caching is a must for 
high performance. Now, 
the questions are: What type, 
and how big? 

183 Storage Management 

A new class of products 
eases the burden of the LAN 
administrator's job. 

195 Embedded Intelligence 

Demands for higher storage 
performance are being 
answered by disk designers: 
They're adding intelligence 
to drives to boost speed 
and accuracy. 

204 Resource Guide: 

Storage for Networks 

4 BYTE • MARCH 1992 




Windows on the Road 

The BYTE Lab tests portable 
systems and pointing devices 
with a flair for Windows. 

222 BYTE Lab Product Report: 
Captains of Crunch 

The top spreadsheet programs 
for DOS, Windows, and the Mac. 

240 Raising the Ceiling: 

Nine Memory Managers 
for Today's Processors 

Nine products that make 
more memory available to your 
DOS programs. 

246 NetWare Grows Lean, 
Not Mean 

NetWare Lite 1 .0 earns 
high marks for simplicity 
and interoperability with 
server-based NetWare. 

251 Swift Programming 

for Windows, in Windows 

QuickC for Windows brings 
GUI integration to Windows 
program development. 

253 Apple Reinvents the Notebook 

Apple's lightweight notebook computers are heavy-duty champs. 

257 WordPerfect for Windows 

The big-selling word processor is finally running under Windows. Has it been 
worth the wait? 


SoftNode brings a different kind of NetWare to the Mac, Stacker 2.0 squeezes 
out space, and Telebit's tiny modem blazes. 


Interrupts and Big Cats 

by Jerry Pournelle 
Jerry configures a new 
486 computer. 

Windows Moves Out 

by Wayne Rash Jr. 
Better notebook computers 
make traveling with Windows 
a workable proposition. 

The Future of Pen 

Pen software developers and 
systems designers debate 
the future of pen computing. 

Mirror Worlds 

David Gelemter's Mirror 
Worlds puts the universe in 
a shoebox. 


Infoglut at Your Fingertips 

All the information search-and- 
retrieval services still remain 
islands to themselves. 




Sending a Message to Congress 


Reader reactions to OS/2 2.0 
and other issues. 




Editorial Index by Company 
Alphabetical Index to Advertisers 
Index to Advertisers 


Tapping into Sockets 

Use TCP/IP sockets to write 
portable client/server applications. 


Enhancing Laser-Printer 

How to make a laser printer 
act like a phototypesetter. 


Network Sleuth 

Network utilities for the Mac 
and PC; an E-mail utility for Unix. 


32-bit Windows Today 303 

by Martin Heller 

Watcom and MetaWare deliver 

32-bit Windows programming 



LAN Analyzers Move to AI 

by Barry Nance 

AI is redefining the role 

of LAN analyzers. 

THE UNIX /bin 
X Hits the Spot 

by David Fiedler 
Setting up your PC Unix 
for the X Window System. 

Managing Mac Upgrades 

by Don Crabb 

Don works up some Mac 

hardware upgrade strategies. 


The best number crunchers; 
Windows environment space 
problems; PC-to-Mac 
connectivity; and other issues. 

by Product Category 
Inquiry Reply Cards: 355 


From BIX: Join "listings/frombyte92" 
From Demolink: See ad on page 361 
On disk: See ad on page 297 


BYTE(ISSN 0360-5280/92) is published monthly with an additional issue in October by McGraw- Hill, Inc. U.S. subscriber rate $29.95 per year. In 
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begins after page 92 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 5 

= File Edit Worksheet 


A:E1 ;@SUM(B| 








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Market Share 


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PC Magazine, 
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Now, memory goes to 8MB 
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■ ZEOS 14" High Res 
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Pkg.#l Pkg.#2 Plcg.#3 Plcg. #4 



















FAX Orders: 


TDD Orders: 


Outside US 

and Canada: 


MasterCard, VISA, 

Am Exp, Discover, Z-Card and COD. 

GSA# GSA00K91AGS5176 

Open 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year! 

Purchase orders subject to approval. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Please call to confirm pricing, specification and warranty details. Microsoft and 
Windows are trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Z-Card, SpaceSaver and ZEOS are trademarks of ZEOS International Ltd., 530 5th Avenue, N.W., St. Paul, MN 55112 USA © 1991. 

Circle 138 on Inquiry Card. 

BYTE Topic Index and Author Guide 

This index helps you find articles that contain information on each of the listed topics. (The topic list changes each month.) 
Combined with the table of contents (page 4) and the Editorial Index by Company (page 360), you can identify articles by type, 

subject, title, author, or product discussed. 






39, 122 





36, 80, 295 


269, 303 

















160, 183, 195, 204 







362, 364 

42, 109, 208, 253 


253, 295 


70, 72, 259 

23, 36, 58, 261, 291, 303 


240, 281 





93, 145 



122, 183 


23, 52, 164 







23, 122, 183, 246, 259, 261, 287 36 



Allen, Dennis 10 

Andrews, D. L. 23 

Apiki, Steve 214 

Appleby, Doris 155 

Baran, Nicholas 115,257 

Bricklin, Dan 115 

Christianson, Tim 195 

Cote, Raymond GA 222, 261 

Crabb, Don 295 

Dao, Jeff 115 

Dulaney, Ken 115 

Edwards, David L. 222 

Eglowstein, Howard 115,208 

Faggin, Federico 145 

Faizullabhoy, Danial 195 

Fiedler, David 29.1 

Heller, Martin 39, 281 

Kenner, Hugh 362 

Kirk, Rod 195 

Kliewer, Bradley Dyck 269 

Lent, Anne Fischer 54 

Liffick, Steve 115 

Linderholm, Owen 23 

Loeb, Larry 23 

Mankin, Kevin 115 

Marshall, Trevor 131 

Miastkowski, Stan 42, 51 

Nance, Barry 240, 246, 

279, 287 

Osher, Herbert M. 122 

Poumelle, Jerry 93 

Rash, Wayne Jr. 109 

Reinhardt, Andy 23, 115 

Robinson, Mike 183 

Ryan, Bob 160 

Smith, Ben 36, 261, 279 

Sprague, David 164 
Stein, Richard Marlon 168 
Stone, Christopher M. 125 

Swartz, Carol J. 51, 58 

Thompson, Tom 253, 279 

Trask, Matt 23 

Udell, Jon 364 

Ullman, Ellen 23 

Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. 175 

Waterfield, Amanda L. 74 

Yager, Tom 52, 251 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 6E 


Dennis Allen 


New York: Rich Malloy 
Peterborough: Michael Nadeau 


Anne Fischer Lent 


Lauren A. Stickler 

New York: 

News Editor: Andrew Reinhardt 


Sr. Ed., New Products: Stan Miastkowski 

News Editors, What's New: Martha Hicks, 

Carol Swartz, Amanda Waterfield 

Microbytes:D. L.Andrews 

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Editorial Assistant: Barbara J. Caravello 

UK/Europe: Bureau Chief: Andrew Redfern 


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Technical Editors: Stephen Apiki, 

D. Barker, Alan Joch, Tom Yager 

Testing Editors/Engineers: Raymond GA 

Cote, Stanford Diehl, Howard Eglowstein, 

Stanley Wszola 

Lab Assistant: Selinda Chiquoine 


Senior Editor: John W. Donovan 
Technical Editors: Janet J. Barron, 
Robert M. Ryan, Ben Smith 


Tom Thompson, Jon Udell 


Senior Editor: Robert Mitchell 


Senior Editor: Gene Smarts 


Ellen Bingham, Susan Colwell, Jeff 
Edmonds, Tom Kevan, Cathy Kingery, 
Margaret A. Richard, Warren Williamson 


Jerry Pournelle 


Don Crabb, David Fiedler, Martin Heller, 
Hugh Kenner, Wayne Rash Jr. 


Roger C.AIford, Jonathan Amsterdam, 
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Marshall, Mark J. Minasi, Barry Nance, 
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Public Relations Mgr: Dawn Matthews 
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BYTE program listings are available at (61 7) 
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See listing on page 359. 


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Stephen M. Loliberte 


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OFFICERS OF MCGRAW-HILL, INC.: Founder: James H. McGraw (1860-1 948). 

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer: Joseph L. Dionne, Executive vice President, General Counsel and Secretary: Robert N. Landes, Executive Vice President: Walter D. Serwatka, 
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Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and Executive Assistant tothe Chairman: Mary A. Cooper, Senior Vice President, Editorial: Ralph R. Schulz. 

6F BYTE- MARCH 1992 

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Circle 260 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 261 ). 



Sending a Message 
to Congress 

Proposed protectionist 
measures could halt 
the forward momentum 
of the computer industry 

An election year in the U.S. means two things — one 
good, the other bad. The good thing is that to get 
reelected, Congress has to actually do something. 
The bad thing is that that something may not be 
very good. We ought to be concerned about the 

Consider, for example, how trade-protection measures 
would affect the computer industry. For a long time, 
Congress has had a hankering 
to help out the semiconductor 
manufacturers in the U.S. You 
probably remember all those 
news stories about how Jap- 
anese firms have flooded the 
market with cheap memory 
chips and how U.S. firms can- 
not compete against the"dump- 
ing" of such low-cost chips on the market. 

On the one hand, it would appear that restricting im- 
ports of memory chips would help U.S. memory makers, 
therefore protecting the industry and jobs. On the other 
hand, any kind of restriction would cause prices to sky- 
rocket, and higher memory prices would mean higher 
prices for systems — a complete reversal of the current 
trend toward commodity pricing. 

Think about it this way: Just a few short years ago, 
there was a shortage of memory chips, and prices were 
naturally high. They were high enough, in fact, that a 
typical system came with only 1 MB of RAM — scarce- 
ly enough to run, say, Microsoft Windows or any de- 
manding application. 

It took a big drop in memory prices to spur manufac- 
turers to produce 2-, 4-, or even 8-MB systems for less 
than $3000, and we've all capitalized from that. More 
to the point, we've bought more-powerful computers 
that let us run more-powerful — and more-demanding — 
software applications so we can better do our jobs. Now 
that's a competitive edge, and it's one that Congress 
seems willing to forfeit. 

After years of promises and predictions of how per- 
sonal computers would improve everyone's productiv- 
ity, we find ourselves at the threshold of realizing that 
goal. Almost as though it happened overnight, although 
it didn't, we finally have user interfaces that actually 
make applications easy. We have applications that can use 
graphics as well as they can use text and numbers. We 
have operating-system platforms that let us run several ap- 
plications at once. All of this came about because mem- 
ory chips have been cheap and plentiful, and now, just as 

we're ready to cross the. ubiquitous productivity thresh- 
old, Congress wants to slam the door. 

For a moment, think about all that you could do if you 
had more memory in your present system. You could 
run more concurrent applications so that they could "talk" 
to one another and exchange data. You could run a larg- 
er disk cache to speed up those applications. You could 
run a more powerful operating system. Simply put, you 
could do your job better. 

The benefits of having more memory go far beyond the 
obvious. Software developers, for example, are eager to 
write the gigantic programs necessary for enterprise- 
wide computing. And companies are raring to imple- 
ment those programs so that their entire operations can 
work more efficiently. 

Enacting protectionist measures for memory chips will 
halt the forward momentum of the computer market and 
the computer industry. Such action would stall future 
developments — in both software and hardware — simply 
because high memory prices would mean that the average 
computer system would have a relatively small amount of 
memory. In short, we would all have to spend a little 
more on computers to do a little less. 

You get the picture. With lots of inexpensive memory, 
we become more productive individually and as entire 
companies, and that increased productivity translates 
into nationwide competitiveness. Does that competi- 
tiveness mean jobs? Perhaps, but I'll leave that to the 
Labor Department to say. One thing for sure, though, is 
that if trade restrictions are applied, cheap and plentiful 
memory is not possible. 

That's less than desirable, and it's nearly intolerable. 
At best, it may only be shortsighted. At worst, it's just 
plain stupid. Trade protections rarely make sense. More- 
over, Congress doesn't seem to think that voters look 
beyond the short-term benefits that they promise. Of 
course, it's not the first time that Congress has been 

Fortunately, when Congress is wrong, folks can say so 
at the voting booth on election day. But why wait until 
then? By that time, the damage will have been done. The 
better solution is to write a letter to your congressper- 
son. Contrary to what you may have heard, they're starved 
for feedback from folks like you. If you're too busy to 
write a letter, just tear out this page, sign it, and mail it. Ei- 
ther way, they'll get the message. 

— Dennis Allen 

Editor in Chief 

(BIX name "dallen") 

10 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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Waiting for OS/2 

OS/2 2.0: 

Regarding "The Public Speaks on 
OS/2 vs. Windows" (November 1991), 
Microsoft has claimed that "the market 
has spoken" by choosing Windows. This is 
nonsense. The market has no way of 
knowing what it wants until products are 
available for purchase. The market was 
never offered 32-bit OS/2 2.0. If Microsoft 
needed to abandon something in favor of 
Windows 3.0, there was 16-bit OS/2 1.x, 
which never had much to recommend it 
and was rejected by the market. 

Microsoft has claimed that Windows 
3.x is better for the market than OS/2 2.0 would have 
been because it requires less-expensive hardware. This 
too is nonsense. No one buys a 286 machine these days, 
except as a minimal DOS box. Everyone is buying 
386SX, 386, and 486 machines, and Windows 3.x wants 
as much from these as OS/2 2.0 would have, but it gives 
back much less functionality and performance. 

For years we were told we were moving out of DOS, 
and then suddenly we were told to stay put and get bigger 
Windows instead. I hope the IBM version of OS/2 2.0 
succeeds, if only to spite Microsoft. 

Jim Howard 
Project City, CA 

What Ellen Ullman says in the December 1991 
Roundtable ("What's Wrong with Unix?") is true: 
DOS is a "retrofit kludge." We deserve something bet- 
ter. When I try to generate a report in Quicken with 
Desqview installed, I get an "Insufficient memory" 
message. I have to remove Desqview to generate the re- 
port. Sure, this is just a bug. It's also a pain. 

I'm pinning my hopes on OS/2 at this point and pray- 
ing that IBM finally gets it out the door and that it spawns 
many applications. 

Bill Romaine 
Acton, MA 

With the real OS/2 just around the corner ("OS/2 
2.0: A Pilgrim's Journey," December 1991), it is 
ironic that Microsoft Windows has both hindered and 
helped OS/2: hindered, because Windows derailed 
OS/2's development program; helped, because until 
Windows, the GUI was going nowhere on the PC. Win- 
dows binary compatibility made OS/2 unnecessarily fat 
and delayed it even more, but this helps, because Win- 
dows capability will be what sells OS/2. 

I intend to run OS/2, and I intend to program for it. 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Please double-space your 
letter on one side of the page and include your name and address. 
Letters two pages in length or under have a better chance of being 
published in their entirety. Address correspondence to Letters Edi- 
tor, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. You 
can also send letters via BlXmailc/o "editors. " 

Your letter will be read, but because of the large volume of mail 
we receive, we cannot guarantee publication. We also reserve the 
right to edit letters. It takes about four months from the time we 
receive a letter until we publish it. 

A Pilgrim's Journey s~^ 

"■ = Ev£^ C^SmTZJ^Z^ 

But I am not pleased that it is four 
years late. Nothing has held back the in- 
dustry more than the Microsoft/IBM bun- 
gle of OS/2. I'll never forgive IBM for 
wasting time on 16-bit OS/2. And I'll 
never forgive Microsoft for abandoning 
OS/2 altogether. BYTE editor Michael 
Nadeau is correct (see "Why Windows 
Needs OS/2," December 1991). The com- 
ing battle between Microsoft's Windows 
NT and IBM's OS/2 2.0 is a boon to con- 
sumers. However, it's not the really inter- 
esting spectacle. More interesting will 
be the emergence of 64-bit operating sys- 
tems as Intel rolls out— as it must— its 
64-bit 80x86 chip. 

Will we see another bungle from the operating-sys- 
tems giants, or will they react correctly next time? 

John Kominek 
M/arkham, Ontario, Canada 

I'm often bemused by the preponderance of pro-Big 
Blue proclamations that stream forth from your pages. 
I just finished laughing at Michael Nadeau 's editorial 
("Why Windows Needs OS/2") and Jon Udell's "OS/2 
2.0: A Pilgrim's Journey" (December 1991). I laughed 
not because the writing was particularly humorous, but 
because these authors still [don't understand]. How 
many postponements [of OS/2 2.0] have there been? The 
deadline for OS/2 2.0 was December 3 1 , 199 1 . Yester- 
day I read of IBM's planned March 1992 release of the 
product. Ha! IBM couldn't produce a viable package 
with Microsoft, and IBM won't be able to do it without 

I'm almost ready to wager that by March IBM will 
proclaim some wonderful new breakthrough technology 
that can't be ignored and that will be developed by 
IBM's crack OS/2 2.0 team. And of course OS/2 2.0 will 
then be ready by May 1995 or soon thereafter, so users 
shouldn't switch to Windows! 

John Caporale 
West Chester, PA 

High-Level Praise 

I am very glad to see your six-part series by Doris Ap- 
pleby on higher-level languages ("Classic Languages," 
beginning in September 1991). We read much about C 
these days, but higher-level languages offer enormous ad- 
vantages to applications software developers as well as 
to maintenance programmers. 

One advantage is that these programs are written in a 
fashion similar to the way people think and thus are very 
readable. Another advantage is that these programs can 
be transported from a platform manufactured by one ven- 
dor to a platform made by a different vendor, providing 
that both vendors have conformed to the appropriate stan- 
dards. In addition, the error-handling routines for the 
higher-level languages are very sophisticated and accu- 
rate. I have yet to see competent error-reporting rou- 
tines for C. 

C should be used to create operating systems, 
drivers, compilers, linkers, and interrupt handlers. For 

14 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

C developers 

interface development & screen management 
in a Utopian environment! 

In the perfect world, you probably wouldn't choose to 
spend excessive time and energy (read: any) sweating 
the interface to satisfy the constantly changing whims 
of your end-users. Of course, the perfect world probably 
wouldn't have end-users. 

But the real world does. 

And the more ridiculous they get (difficult, picky, 
and fickle) about the way they want their screens to look 
and function, the more miserable you get. 

Because every little "adjustment" they demand 
means that you have to go back and do huge hunks of 
work all over again. And again. And again. Frankly, it's 
amazing you haven't strangled anyone yet. 

Vermont Views™ 

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With Designer, you create working prototypes by 
playing directlywith your screens. Pull-downs, pop- 
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Changes? Easy! New details? No 
problem! Whole new approaches? Go 
for it! 

It's all made possible by an in- 
credibly extensive library of 586 tested, 
debugged, reliable functions. Which 
means every screen you create can 
look and function distinctively, 
uniquely, and precisely the way 

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you want it to (and no one euerhas to know you didn't 
spend days doing it all from scratch). 

Once your screens are done, the prototypes be- 
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portable among UNIX, SCO UNIX, XENIX, and VMS. 
With no code modifications! 

It also doesn't hurt that we give you the fastest 
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But perhaps most importantly, Vermont Views is a 
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Which leads us to this fundamental question: Why 
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applications, though, the higher-level languages are by 
far the better choice. 

Leonard M. De Ball 
Glen Ellyn, IL 

Defining Interoperability 

What a wonderful article "Integrating Distributed 
Information" (November 1991) is. The opening 
line of the second paragraph is so subtle yet so incredi- 
bly important: "Everywhere you look, information hides 
within data, waiting only for the right set of circum- 
stances to reveal itself." 

In Ontario, road crews used to post signs ahead of 
major construction listing a contract number and comple- 
tion date for the work. New signs include a brief de- 
scriptive message regarding the work, along with the 
completion date. What a wonderful change. The origi- 
nal signs were a great example of data, and the new signs 
are a great example of information. Until the new signs 
came, everyone considered the old signs to be informa- 
tive because they had information written on them. Ah! 
Not anymore. Now someone has shown us what informa- 
tion really is, and we can see that there is in fact a dif- 
ference between data and information. 

Kevin Stumpf 
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada 

It's obvious from reading "Interoperability: The Un- 
fulfilled Promise" (November 1991) that interopera- 
bility has become more important as more and more 
corporate data is distributed off mainframes onto desktop 
systems. But I am left wondering whether the quest for 
interoperability may stem from a failure to adequately 
distinguish between the nature of data typically kept on 
small computers and that residing on larger systems. 

Consider an IBM 3090 mainframe handling data and 
global data processing. A centralized MIS bureaucracy 
might dream of linking a local database of clients main- 
tained by the New York office with local client databases 
kept by field offices, all of which might very well be sit- 
ting on some combination of minicomputers, Macs, and 
PCs. Even if a field office harbors data seemingly 
equivalent in structure to that independently gathered in 
New York, there is no guarantee that the data is equally 
meaningful, since there is not likely to be any commonly 
defined protocols for collecting the data. For these and 
other reasons, desktop-resident data is often valuable 
only at this localized or "micro" level. 

Ultimately, "noninteroperative" computing seems to 
entail redefining what constitutes legitimate and valuable 
data processing. We should be careful not to obviate the 
economies obtained in the desktop revolution by demand- 
ing that small systems be defined merely as distributed 
versions of mainframe technology, as the quest for inter- 
operability seems to tacitly demand. 

Keith E. Risler 
London, Ontario, Canada 

There is an error in "Transparent Data Exchange" 
(November 1991) and a few possible misconceptions. 
Autolmport is not on the market. Tangent Group ac- 
quired the technology and, after evaluating what the mar- 
ket needed, developed refinements to serve two differ- 

ent computing environments: PC file server and mixed 
platform. Avenue is adapted to the PC file-server envi- 
ronment and Catapult to the multiplatf orm environment. 

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols comments, "It isn't trans- 
parent, but at least it's easy." If this means that you can't 
get Lotus data when you're in dBase, transparently, it's 
accurate. With Avenue and Catapult, the PC user can 
choose a keyword that will initiate action on host data. 
The user needs no knowledge of host operations to get 
host data. The mask capability refines data access fur- 
ther and makes it even more accessible to end users. 

Vaughan-Nichols concludes the discussion with 
"while both programs make it simple to extract data 
ranges, they can't do complicated data queries. ..." 
One of the areas we enhanced significantly is the search 
capabilities so that a user can specify criteria or values 
to select data. Several of these can be put back to back to 
sift through multiple levels of data. 

Overall, the tone and direction of the whole special 
section were informative and interesting. We applaud 
your efforts at cutting through the glitz with the knife of 

Posy Gering 

Tangent Group, Inc. 

Bothell, WA 

Revise Jerry's Rule? 

I would like to extend Jerry Pournelle's famous rule to 
this: "One person, at least one processor, and at least 
one mass-storage unit." 

There is the ugly new phenomenon of diskless work- 
stations, which provide end users with processors but 
deny them the space to store work unless the network 
and the central server are running. This reduces the local 
CPU to the level of a smart terminal, with all the draw- 
backs of one main CPU. 

The network with diskless workstations is as unpro- 
ductive as a mainframe network. The local workstations 
will use the server for any dumb I/O and will stay idle 
when they need information and the server is overloaded 
or down. The same justification to get rid of the old 
mainframe will appear in this type of network. The users 
will have (as they have now) the right claim that with 
local mass storage they can unload only the pieces of in- 
formation they need, work on them independently, and 
upload them again when finished. 

Ze'ev Atlas 
Teaneck, NJ 

I'll give some thought to the modification: One user, at 
least one CPU, and nowadays, yes, at least one mass- 
storage device. —Jerry Pournelle 


LANFax Redirector ("Network Fax Servers Come of 
Age (Slowly)," December 1991) is stand-alone software 
that supports industry-standard fax boards. We inadver- 
tently described it as a hardware/software bundle. ■ 

18 BYTE • MARCH 1992 



Graphical forms and a robust programming language 
combine to create powerful Windows-based applications. 




Check Box 

Combo Box — g 

Horizontal . 
Scroll Bar 

Timer ■ 

List Box 




ab| Text Box 


■ Picture Box 


" Button 

- List Box 

_ Vertical 
Scroll Bar 

' List Box 

List Box 

Visual design tools provide a graphical way 
to create graphical applications. 

A powerful \Mndows 

system that lets you develop 

po\\erM\\faiaows apps. 

With the Microsoft* Visual Basic" programming system, you 
can have it both ways. 

Start with a robust, structured language, one of the fastest 
compilers around, and an interactive source-level debugger. All 
tightly integrated in a programming system that's extensible via 
direct calls to the Windows API or other dynamic-link libraries 
(DLLs), and even new types of controls. 

Of course, all that power can be put to good use. 

Namely remarkably powerful applications. Any app you 
create can have a graphical interface that includes multiple win- 
dows, drag and drop, and all standard Windows controls. Not to 
mention dynamic data exchange (DDE) for interoperability with 
other Windows applications. 

The result? You can produce any kind of Windows applica- 
tion— each one a compiled, distributable .EXE file. 

So call us at (800) 541-1261, Dept. V68. We'll be glad to tell 
you more about the system that has it all. 

© 1991 Microsoft Corporation. All rights resem-d. Printed in the U.S.A. For more information inside the 50 United States, call (800)541-1261, Dept. V68. Customers in 
Canada . call (HOO) :',t u i, the 1 1. S. and Canada, call (20(1) WHi-Sfitil. Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarks and Windoics and Visual 

Basic arc trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 


Key Features 

• Fast, full-featured programming 

• Create EXE files with no royalty or run- 
time fee. 

• Visual design tools for click-and-drag 
development of graphical applications. 

• Sophisticated Windows-based applica- 
tions can include all standard Windows 
controls, multiple windows, dialogs, 
custom menus, drag and drop, and pro- 
grammatic graphics. 

* Paste-link and programmable 
dynamic data exchange (DDE). 

► Support for dynamic-link libraries 

► Online, context-sensitive Help. 

► Detailed online tutorial. 

► Sample code and full-featured exam- 
ple applications. 

» Incorporate bitmap graphics, meta- 
files, and icons. 

► Sophisticated debugging tools. 

At the 1991 Spring 
Comdex/Windows World, 
the editors of BYTE 
judged Visual Basic the 
"Best of Show!' In the July 
Winner 1991 issue of 'BYTE, Edi- 
tor-in-chief Fred Langa called Visual 
Basic "a milestone product!' 


Soon, Eight Ho 

Computing Wil 

AMD Introduces The World's First 
386 Microprocessor With 3-Volt Technology 

TWo standard dry-cell batteries. There's Thanks to the low-voltage Am386 micro- 

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voltage Am386™microprocessor. n " ,M S^4ffi xtl,m worth of 386 performance-the per- 

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ins Of Portable 

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formance you need to run sophisticated 
applications like Windows" 3D. 

And rest assured, the low-voltage Am386 
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and comply fully with JEDEC standards for 
low-power, 3-volt computing.We can even 
supply you with the 3-volt EPROMs your sys- 
tems will need. Other 3-volt system logic 
is also readily available. 

For more information on the low-voltage 

Am386 microprocessors call AMD today at 
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Advanced Micro Devices 

"We're Not Your Competition'.' 5 " 

is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices. Inc. All brand or product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders 

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Full native 32-bit programming power — 



When it comes to building larger, 
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Novell Gets Serious About Unix 

Novell might be justified in thinking that NetWare will dominate for years to 
come. But as Microsoft's 32-bit, scalable Windows NT (New Technology) op- 
erating system inches closer to reality, it's clear that Novell is concerned about the 
long term. Windows NT, with its integral networking capabilities, could obviate the 
need for NetWare. The solution: Novell is throwing in its lot with Unix. 

Long the dominant client/server network operating system for the world of DOS- 
based PCs, Novell's NetWare is now being moved over to Unix through partner- 
ships with Hewlett-Packard and the Unix Systems Laboratories (USL). In the past, 
Novell's Portable NetWare for Unix provided a subset of NetWare's full capa- 
bilities and incomplete connectivity between Unix and DOS. Now NetWare will be 
tightly integrated with Unix. One benefit: The difficulties of integrating LANs 
based on TCP/IP and Sun Microsystems' Network File System protocol with Net- 
Ware will become transparent. 

The deal between HP and Novell will finally bring NetWare to a RISC-based Unix 
environment. The two companies plan to work together to port NetWare onto 
HP's Precision Architecture-RISC architecture, which is the basis for the blister- 
ingly fast Series 700 workstations and servers. The software is expected to be 
available sometime in 1993. Darrell Miller, Novell's executive vice president of mar- 
keting and services, said that the two companies decided to support PA-RISC be- 
cause of its speed and that producing a native version of NetWare will allow Net- 
Ware loadable modules to run. 

The deal with USL may prove to be more strategically significant, since it could 
open up the whole Unix world, not just HP's comer of the market, to Novell. Nov- 
ell and USL will form a joint venture called Univel in San Jose, California. Uni- 
vel's mission will be to create a standard implementation of NetWare for USL's 
Unix System V release 4.0. Univel's products — the first of which will reportedly 
be available in the first half of this year — will arrive first for Intel-architecture 
machines. Other possible platforms include Advanced Computing Environment and 
SPARC machines. 

The USL deal may have more to do with battling Microsoft than with integrating 
heterogeneous LANs. The announcement sheds light on why Novell invested in USL 
last year: Novell wants to hold onto the Intel-based market, and if that means 
jumping to Unix, so be it. Says Rikki Kirzner, a senior analyst at Dataquest, Net- 
Ware could become to Unix what LAN Manager is to OS/2 and Windows NT. 
Unfortunately for users, a protracted battle between Windows NT and Unix could 
further postpone the era of truly transparent interoperability. 

— Owen Linderholm and Andy Reinhardt 

Clarion and Jensen & Partners to Merge 

Clarion Software (Pompano Beach, 
FL), developer of database applica- 
tions development tools for DOS-based 
PCs, and London-based Jensen & Part- 
ners International, developer of the Top- 
Speed language products, have announced 
an intent to merge. Clarion's flagship prod- 
uct, the Clarion Professional Developer, 
will be integrated with JPI's tools, which 
include optimizing compilers, link tech- 

nology, and an interactive debugger. The 
two companies had already planned to in- 
clude JPI's compiler /linker technology in 
the Clarion Professional Developer 3.0, 
scheduled to ship this month. 

To accomplish the merger, Clarion stock 
will be issued to JPI stockholders. JPI's 
development staff will remain in London 
under the name TopSpeed Institute. 

— D. L. Andrews 


The most intriguing and puzzling 
aspect of Novell and USL's Univel 
deal is that the partners hinted that 
they may produce the long-rumored 
Unix Lite, a scaled-down version 
of the operating system that would 
be shrink-wrapped for the desktop. 
USL has been thought to be devel- 
oping this technology with Com- 
paq, but now it will apparently fall 
to Univel. Compaq's role is un- 
known at this time. Robert Kavner, 
chairman of USL, said the software 
will appear this year. □ 

Bruce Barrington, Clarion Soft- 
ware's chairman and chief engineer, 
said his company's merger with 
Jensen & Part- 
ners Internation- 
al "allows us to 
offer the best in 
languages to- 
gether with the 
best in database 
technology. Un- 
til now, the data- 
base developer's 
choice has been 
C for speed or either Clarion, dBase, 
Paradox, or Clipper for program- 
ming ease. Now Clarion can offer 
the same speed and compactness as 
a C program." □ 

Ray Noorda, Novell's CEO, has a 
different view on corporate stock- 
holders. "During our operations, we 
think of the customer first, em- 
ployees second, and shareholders 
third," he said at the time of the 
Hewlett-Packard and USL announce- 
ments. Noorda 's approach contrasts 
sharply with the business model that 
puts shareholders first. Novell share- 
holders aren't doing too badly: No- 
vell reported record revenues for 
1991 of $640.1 million, up 29 per- 
cent from $497.5 million in 1990, 
and profits of $162.5 million, or 
$ 1 . 10 per share, up 72 percent from 
1990's $94.3 million net. □ 

MARCH 1992 • B Y T E 23 

IRIS Indigo. An excellent example 


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Computer Systems 



Apple Admits Floppy Drive Problem 

Apple has admitted that a start-up pro- 
duction glitch has affected the flop- 
py drives in the new portable PowerBook 
140s and 170s to the point where the com- 
pany must replace the drives. Most of the 
failures have been in the drives in the 140 

The internal floppy drives on some ear- 
ly production runs fail to operate unless 
screen brightness is turned down all the 
way, which makes the machine far less 

useful. "We made a production change be- 
fore the holidays that adds shielding to the 
floppy drive, and that seems to eliminate 
the problem," an Apple representative said. 
"We are fixing the affected drives under 
warranty at no charge to the consumer and 
encourage those with problems to call the 
Apple Customer Assistance Center at (800) 
776-2333 to find their nearest service lo- 

— Larry Loeb 

IBM's Multimedia Development Kit 
Acknowledges Two Worlds 

IBM is supporting the formats of two 
different multimedia platforms with the 
beta release of its 32-bit Multimedia Pre- 
sentation Manager/2 Development Kit. 
The prerelease MPM/2, available from 
the company's operation in Boca Raton, 
Florida, is priced at $100 and provides de- 
velopers with early access to documenta- 
tion, tools, and code samples for the Mul- 
timedia Extensions to OS/2 2.0. 

Mark Tempelmeyer, IBM's manager of 
multimedia system software, acknowl- 
edges the importance of standards in the 
growth of multimedia and says that the 
MPM/2 extensions support standards such 
as the Media Control Interface (MCI) 
command set and the Resource Inter- 
change File Format (RIFF), which are part 
of the multimedia extensions to Windows 
3.0. IBM belongs to the Interactive Mul- 
timedia Association instead of the Multi- 
media Marketing Council, an organiza- 
tion created by Microsoft, Tandy, and 
others to promote the Multimedia PC 
(MPC) standard. Other IMA members in- 
clude Apple, Sony, and Philips. 

By supporting command sets, formats, 
and functions such as MCI and RIFF, IBM 

gives the nod to both organizations' plat- 
forms. The MCI command set controls 
multimedia hardware in an MPC, and the 
RIFF structure can incorporate other for- 
mats developed independently of RIFF, 
such as a Windows metafile or a Windows 
device-independent bit-map file. 

The IMA's definition of the minimum 
system necessary to run multimedia ap- 
plications differs from that of the MPC 
standard. The MPC standard, while not 
preclusive of full-motion video, does not 
specifically address it. The IMA specifi- 
cation addresses NTSC and PAL video. 

Tempelmeyer describes the main differ- 
ence between IBM's and Microsoft's of- 
ferings as synchronization. He states that 
because the IBM multimedia product is 
built on top of a true multitasking operat- 
ing system, it provides additional func- 
tions that are used to synchronize multiple 
data streams, such as audio and video. For 
example, a stereo output device, such as 
the Sound Blaster Pro, can play two in- 
dependent data streams, one on each chan- 
nel, and be assured of keeping them syn- 
chronous with each other. 

—Matt Trask 

Microsoft Takes Another Step Toward NT 

Microsoft's second prerelease version 
of the Microsoft Windows 32-Bit 
Development Kit includes code to devel- 
op for and run on Mips RISC and Intel 
systems, marking the first time the com- 
pany has released tools for a non-Intel- 
based platform. 

A Microsoft spokesperson said that the 
Development Kit has been released to 
about 100 select software developers and 
corporate customers. 

The kit includes an integrated LAN Man- 

ager client/server and the tools to develop 
32-bit applications for Windows. Mi- 
crosoft's official position on Windows NT 
is that it will transform Windows into a 
Microsoft LAN Manager server platform, 
adding a fourth server platform to the 
three— OS/2, Unix, and VMS— that LAN 
Manager currently supports. To develop 
code for both Mips platforms, you have 
to develop on a Mips R4000-based ma- 

— D. L. Andrews 


How will Microsoft's forthcoming 
Windows NT operating system 
compare to Unix? According to Mi- 
crosoft chair- 
man and CEO 
Bill Gates, NT 
pretty much is 
Unix. With its 
Posix standard 
Gates claims NT 
will be as com- 
patible with the 
leading versions 
of Unix as they 
are with each other. The advantage 
of NT, Gates says, is that it will sell 
millions of units, more than any fla- 
vor of Unix. He also said that Mi- 
crosoft may offer a limited voice- 
recognition capability for Windows 
this year. □ 

Starting next month, Intel will cut 
prices of its 386 processors by as 
much as 35 percent. It will also in- 
crease research and capital spend- 
ing this year. The company says that 
the cuts are inspired by competition 
from AMD and that Intel will con- 
centrate on generating revenue from 
its 486 chips and 386SL chips for 
notebooks. In the same month that 
Intel revealed the looming 386 price 
cuts, AMD CEO Jerry Sanders said 
in a teleconference for financial an- 
alysts that AMD will ship a 486 
product for revenue this year. □ 

Live from Merrimack, New Hamp- 
shire, it's Desktop Direct from DEC. 
That's right, DEC is in the midst of 
a "multimillion dollar push" to start 
selling systems such as the 386SX, 
16-MHz-based DECstation 316SX, 
486SX-based DECpc 433 Graphics 
Power Package, and the 486SX- 
based DECpc 433 Graphic Power 
Plus Package at prices as low as 50 
percent of the list price. Resellers 
and value-added resellers can take 
advantage of the offers. For more 
information, call (800) 722-9332. 
A DEC representative said that the 
offers won't apply for SCO Unix 
systems. "Unix variations are a 
much more intense technical envi- 
ronment," he said. □ 

26 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Unprecedented 32-Bit 
Programming Power in a Singlej 

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DOS Extender Features 

C8.5/386 includes DOS/4GW, a 32-bit 
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Develop and debug true 32 -bit GUI 
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exploit the flat memory model to 
overcome inherent Windows memory 
constraints. Straightforward memory 
allocation makes Windows application 
development easier. Key components 

• Supervisor for executing 32-bit 
applications and DLLs under Windows 

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• 387 math co-processor emulation 

• 32 -bit C library for Windows 

WATCOM C8.5/386 

• 100% ANSI C Optimizing Compiler 
Tools set components: 

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• Profiler • Object Code Librarian 

• Object Code Disassembler • MAKE 
Facility • Patch Facility • Object Module 
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owners. ° Copyright 1991 WATCOM Products Inc. 



Vendors Announce Electronic-Imaging Standard 

Anew standard for the graphics and 
imaging world promises to make it 
easy to directly import captured images 
into applications and to simplify develop- 
ers' support of the many input devices on 
the market. Many of the companies that 
are involved in electronic-image process- 
ing have jointly defined a standard pro- 
gramming interface, called CLASP (Con- 
necting Link for Applications and Source 
Peripherals), so that developers won't have 
to program a set of drivers for each scan- 
ner or digital camera on the market. 

The computer-imaging world relies on 
two capabilities: the conversion of images 
among different file formats and the abil- 
ity to capture images electronically from an 
input device (e.g., a scanner). Although a 
standard doesn't exist for image formats, 
most applications now support a small 
range of preferred image formats. Because 
most graphics-related applications can con- 
vert among these formats, the image-for- 
mat problem is at least manageable. 

Unfortunately, except for the forthcom- 
ing CLASP standard, the "industry hasn't 
agreed on a way to import images. Thus, 
every application that wants to bring in an 
image must provide its own extensive set 
of drivers to support every possible input 
device; otherwise, the application has to 

rely on using a separate image-capture pro- 
gram to import the image in one of sever- 
al possible file formats. The latter solu- 
tion is inelegant for the user, the former 
is laborious for the programmer, and nei- 
ther helps if you just want to directly scan 
.an image into the company newsletter. 

CLASP is designed to address all these 
problems. The standard CLASP applica- 
tion programming interface (API) will let 
applications use one set of device drivers 
that will support all compliant peripher- 
als. When applications such as PageMak- 
er support CLASP, you will be able to 
select a menu item to acquire an image, 
capture the image using your scanner, and 
paste it directly into a document without 
leaving your application. 

This set of standards is being finalized. 
The preliminary name of CLASP is likely 
to change soon to TWAIN, which one ob- 
server said means Toolkit Without An Im- 
portant Name. Whatever the name, the 
standard has the support of leading hard- 
ware and software companies, improving 
its chances of becoming widely adopted. 

CLASP is a multiple-platform and mul- 
tiple-device API. It is initially targeted for 
the Mac and Windows environments. OS/2 
and the X Window System may follow. 
— Owen Linderholm 

Lotus Not Consolidating DOS Spreadsheets... 
for Now 

Sources outside of Lotus Development 
have told BYTE that two factions are 
at war within Lotus over how to deal with 
the DOS spreadsheets. Recognizing that 
the bifurcation causes market confusion, 
some people argue that Lotus 1-2-3 re- 
lease 3.1 should be eliminated — especial- 
ly since its level of functionality is sup- 
plied by 1-2-3 for Windows — and 2.3 
should be enhanced to better compete with 
Quattro Pro. Release 2.3 runs on XT-class 
machines, so if it were eliminated, Lotus 
would have no low-end offering. 

Other people apparently believe that Lo- 
tus needs to keep both products, at least 
until the Windows version gains popular- 
ity and more XTs are retired. Rewriting 
2.3 's assembly language code to provide 
better memory management and allow 
multiple-page spreadsheets is said to be 
an enormous task, so keeping 3.1 alive for 
386-class users may make more sense in 
the short term. 

The release 3.0 architecture, which is the 

basis for all of Lotus's non-DOS imple- 
mentations of 1-2-3, has proven very suc- 
cessful and portable. But the old 2.x ar- 
chitecture keeps hanging around — and it 
apparently makes up 55 percent to 60 per- 
cent of new DOS spreadsheet sales — so 
this is a problem Lotus will have for a long 

Lotus asserts that it is not combining its 
two DOS-based spreadsheets into a sin- 
gle product — or at least not now. A Lotus 
spokesperson said, "Both products play a 
significant role. We're not combining these 

According to Lotus, 1-2-3 release 3.1 
now accounts for 40 percent to 45 percent 
of the company's worldwide sales in the 
DOS spreadsheet market. Lotus is now 
working on new versions of both prod- 
ucts, a spokesperson said, and although 
the company had considered consolidat- 
ing the products in the past, a consolidation 
is "not in the cards in the near future." 

— Andy Reinhardt 


A manufacturer active in the Mac 
II market is now shipping a touch- 
screen for the Mac. Edmark (Red- 
mond, WA) has redesigned its $335 
TouchWindow to work with Mac 
monitors via the Mac's Apple Desk- 
top Bus port. You can use the Mac's 
mouse concurrently with the Touch- 

The TouchWindow works with 
any Mac application and lets you 
use your finger to access pull-down 
menus, make selections, move ob- 
jects, and draw. The screen is at- 
tached to a Mac monitor with ad- 
hesive strips. You can remove the 
screen from the monitor and use it 
as a stand-alone graphics tablet. Ed- 
mark recently began shipping a ver- 
sion for PC compatibles. An Amiga 
version is due this summer. □ 

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hop- 
per, 85, a pioneer in the develop- 
ment of computers, coinventor of 
the COBOL programming lan- 
guage, and the Navy's oldest serv- 
ing officer, died in January at her 
home in Arlington, Virginia, of a 
heart attack. 

Hopper, a graduate of Vassar with 
a master's degree and doctorate in 
mathematics from Yale, joined the 
Navy in 1943. She was the first pro- 
grammer on the world's first large- 
scale digital computer, the Navy's 
Mark I. She continued as a pro- 
grammer on subsequent wartime 
Navy computers. 

Following World War II, Hopper 
transferred to the Naval Reserve but 
continued her work in computers. 
She was recalled to active duty in 
the Navy following her retirement 
from the reserves and was kept on 
active duty for the next 20 years 
through a series of congressional 
and presidential orders. 

In 1 991, Hopper was awarded the 
National Medal of Technology by 
President Bush. She was known for 
her contrary lifestyle. Her office at 
the Navy Data Automation Com- 
mand featured a clock that ran back- 
ward. Until her death, Hopper was a 
senior consultant for DEC. She was 
also a contributor to BYTE. She will 
be missed. □ 

28 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

NEC introduces 
a 486 series 
that has 
a built-in survival 


Next time you need a mission- 
critical PC or network sender, 

here's something you might 

want to think about: NEC 

is one of a handful of 

companies that have 

received the Deming 

Award, the highest 

honor bestowed in the 

quality assurance 

field, on five 


NEC's new PowerMate Express 
Series. A lesson in survival 
and security. 

Imagine a line of affordable 486 
PCs and towers that is completely 
modular and upgradable. 

Now imagine how secure you'd 
feel in your decision to purchase 
such a system. A system that 
would not only meet your needs 
today, but also adapt to changing 

We adapt to your environment. 

With NEC's new PowerMate* 
Express™ Series, you get total sub- 
system modularity and scalability, 
including CPU, memory, video, 
disk subsystems, and EISA option 
slots at no extra cost. All working 
in balance with each other. 
And flexible enough for your 
particular needs. 

An easy-open chassis 
design, featuring thumb 
screws and snap-in 
device rails, gives you convenient 
access to all internal subsystems. 
Standard SIMM sockets— 16 of 

them— provide for easy, 
inexpensive memory 

You can add an 
MIS-pref erred EISA 
SCSI host adaptor. 
And choose from three video 
options-Base VGA, 1024 VGA, 
even BITBLT EVGA for 
graphics-intensive applications. 

In short, you can configure your 
system exactly the way you want it. 

128-bit memory path gives us 
quicker reflexes. 

Instead of the traditional 32-bit 
memory path, our PCs have one 
that's four times as wide, guaran- 
teeing you 0-wait state 
performance even 
at faster processor 
speeds. Giving you 
the ability to handle 
applications or 
demands with ease. 

Our best feature hasn't been 
invented yet. 

Perhaps the best feature of the 
PowerMate Express Series is its 
ability to reduce the possibility 
of your system becoming obsolete 
soon after you buy it. 


Computers and Communications 

Our CPU 

starts at 
486SX/20 for 
only $2,999* and 
goes up through 
486SX/25, 486/33, 
and beyond. 

All at affordable 
What's more, our 
modular systems are ready for 
the next generation of Intel® 
microprocessors, and adaptable to 
new developments in video and 
memory technologies. 

We can take the heat. 

We've given each of our PCs 
generous power supplies to handle 
even the most power-hungry 
components. As well as a three- 
or four-fan array, to enable 
your system to keep cool— and 
keep working— under any amount 
of pressure. 

Proof that a well-balanced 
system is a weapon. 

Scalability. And balance. In the 
end, that's what distinguishes our 

486 computers from others in 
their class. 

Just look at a side-by-side com- 
parison of our features versus 
COMPAQ'S and AST's. 

We think it's further proof that 
investing in a PowerMate Express 
Series PC or tower could very well 
be one of the best decisions you'll 
ever make. 

A decision that will help you 
survive in today's business 
environment. And tomorrow's. 




















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4. Po*« lupply 









5. Inlcmalf an* 

















Dili buod on m»nu1«luni( tupctod ip»alicitk 

For more information, call 1-800 NEC-INFO 
(in Canada, 1-800-343-4418), or NEC FastFacts 
at 1-800-366-0476, #XPRESS (977 377), for 
immediate literature. 

Because 1 k is the way you want to go. 


© 1991. «C TsefWogief . k> 

Circle 87 on Inquiry Card. 



Poqet Computer Licenses Nestor 
Handwriting-Recognition Software 

Poqet Computer has licensed the Nes- 
torWriter handwriting-recognition 
software from Nestor (Providence, RI) for 
use in pen-based products now under de- 
velopment by Poqet. NestorWriter soft- 
ware operates with DOS 3.3 or higher, 
which allows integration of current DOS- 
based applications and offers a stable plat- 
form for new applications development. 

In addition to a user interface and hand- 
writing recognition, Nestor and Poqet are 
developing a complete application pro- 
gramming interface (API) toolkit that third- 
party developers can use to create pen- 
centric DOS applications. The software 
will include mouse emulation and elec- 
tronic ink for signature capture and for the 
creation of bit-mapped images. A Nestor 
representative said that with the toolkit, 
developers will add pen-recognition ca- 
pabilities to their DOS applications through 
pop-up, pen-input windows. 

The licensing of NestorWriter is part of 
Poqet 's strategy to provide a portable plat- 
form to users while offering flexibility to 

programmers so that they can develop 
DOS-based, vertical applications, as op- 
posed to developing for data-collection 
devices that are based on proprietary op- 
erating systems. NestorWriter and the 
Nestor pen user interface are designed to 
provide robust pen-computing function- 
ality in all classes of pen-based computers, 
including 16-bit (using 8088/286 archi- 
tecture) and 32-bit computers. 

Nestor says you can use its handwriting- 
recognition engine in applications devel- 
oped for situations where careful hand- 
printing of characters is not practical. 
NestorWriter combines handwriting-recog- 
nition accuracy for first-time users with 
on-the-f ly learning capabilities that adapt 
to a user's handwriting style, Nestor says. 

The Nestor/Poqet API toolkit is avail- 
able to developers direct from Poqet. The 
Poqet deal is nonexclusive, and Nestor is 
discussing similar agreements with other 
hardware manufacturers, according to a 
Nestor spokesperson. 

— D. L. Andrews 

IBM's Kuehler Promotes Partnering Efforts 

In a meeting with securities analysts to 
explain IBM's recently announced re- 
structuring plan, president Jack Kuehler 
promoted the company's growing effort 
to form alliances with leading partners, 
saying the business model IBM used in 
the 1960s and 1970s is now "a strategy 
for extinction." 

Kuehler explained why IBM has sought 
to work with companies such as Apple, 
Motorola, Intel, and Siemens-Nixdorf. 
"We can leverage each other's core com- 
petencies," he said/"We can share the ex- 
pense and risk of these steep investments." 

Despite IBM's huge size, he noted, its 
50,000 worldwide competitors "collec- 
tively have far more money, capital, and 
talent than we could ever muster." 

Through its joint venture with Siemens, 
IBM is sharing 16-Mb memory-chip pro- 
duction and 64-Mb chip development. 
Kuehler also said that IBM is working on 
a 256-Mb chip. The partnership between 
Display Technologies and Toshiba will 
produce active-matrix color displays. The 
Motorola and Intel partnerships will pro- 
duce new IBM RISC and 80x86 CPUs. 
— Andy Reinhardt 

SAS Institute Favors Windows over DOS 

SAS Institute, maker of the widely used 
statistics package, is contemplating 
abandoning further enhancements of its 
DOS product. According to spokeswoman 
Hilary Yeo, the company will release a 
Windows 3.0 version of its software in 
June and will then encourage PC users to 
move to the Windows- and OS/2-based 
versions of the package. SAS will contin- 
ue to license and support the DOS ver- 
sions, but the company is not likely to con- 
tinue enhancing them. 

SAS says that it's moving to Windows in 
response to customer demand. However, 
many statistics-software users are in aca- 
demic settings, where money for hardware 
is scarce. 

Graduate students and instructors won't 
relish having to buy a 386 to get a new 
version of SAS, but vendors can't be ex- 
pected to carry DOS forever. Benign ne- 
glect of the DOS platform is probably in- 
evitable over time. ■ 

—Ellen Ullman 


IBM plans to introduce new note- 
books, laptops, and high-end serv- 
ers early in the year, company 
president Jack 
Kuehler said. 
"In software, we 
have clearly 
put our reputa- 
tion on the 
line," he said, 
referring to 
OS/2 2.0. The 
operating sys- 
tem was deliv- 
ered in late De- 
cember "to customers who want to 
roll out code early," and it will ship 
commercially in March, as previ- 
ously stated. IBM will "build vol- 
umes as aggressively as possible," 
he said. Kuehler also said that the 
object-oriented Taligent operating 
system IBM is codeveloping with 
Apple is slated to ship in 1994. Pre- 
viously, estimates had ranged as late 
as 1 995. He also said that IBM does 
not see uses of RISC CPUs confined 
to the computer industry. "Con- 
sumer electronics, for example, is 
not out of the question." □ 

Not long after Kuehler made those 
comments, Apple chairman and 
CEO John Sculley said that Apple 
will introduce consumer-specific 
versions of its low-end Mac prod- 
ucts in the U.S. during the second 
half of 1992. The company also 
plans to introduce two lines of CD- 
ROM-based desktop multimedia 
Macs: one for the consumer channel 
and the other for the company's tra- 
ditional PC channel, Sculley said. 
These CD-ROM systems will be 
based on System 7.0 and Quick- 
Time multimedia technology. They 
should ship in time for the 1992 
Christmas season. □ 

IBM is internally showing Mac ap- 
plications running under OS/2. 

The technology to implement this 
latest feature is coming out of the 
Taligent group, a source said. IBM 
could neither confirm nor deny the 
existence of such technology, and 
the source said it wasn't clear how 
it was being accomplished. ■ 

32 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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Now is the perfect opportunity to jump on the multime- 
dia bandwagon. Mathematical family of TEMPRA 
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TEMPRA's revolutionary graphic user interface makes 
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Scan, edit, create, capture, paint and print images in 
TEMPRA PROand TEMPRA GIF- up to 1 6.7 million 
vibrant colors! Then import your images and video into 
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Our TEMPRA products provide the functionality, per- 
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Label : Type 

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| Text | INTRO 



|E 001 

I Ox 282y 153c 45w 4h nnm 

12 0/18 

TEMPRA's powerful integrated features include: 

Intuitive GUI with a variety of adjustable paint tools, 
including airbrush, pens, geometry shapes, text, mask, 
tranformation, filters, color swap, and color protection. 

Support of ComputerEyes/RP M — real-time, 24-bit video 
frame grabber for capturing high-quality images from 
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Photorealistic scanning and printing, including special 
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Support of Animator™, Animator Pro™, and 3D Studio™ 
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Irregular Polygon 
































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Spline (Bezier) 
















1 Load/Display Times 

42K PCX 
















289K Uncomp. TGA 
















Image Formats 


























































Batch Printing 
















Video Capture 








B/W Printing 








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"Mathematica's Tempra 24-bit paint 
program was another winner, provid- 
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Adam Osborn 


November/December 1991 

"A top-flight painting/photo retouch- 
ing program with amazing capabili- 
ties. Video speed, even for 24-bit 
color files, is remarkable. Highly rec- 

Susan Glinert-Stevens 
PC Sources, November 1991 

"Tempra Pro has some very powerful 
features. The package's color ma- 
nipulation and control are hard to 
beat. Overall, Tempra Pro is an ex- 
cellent graphicseditor that's very easy 
to use and quite powerful. You will 
find it possible to create and edit 
images whether you are a beginner 
or a professional." 

Marc Greenfield 
Computer Buying World, 

November 1991 

"Tempra really stands out when work- 
ing with true-color images. The out- 
putfrom Tempra is excellent. Overall 
Tempra is a good program. Those 
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And the ability to work with video 
input offers interesting possibilities." 
Leonard Hyre 
PCM, November 1991 

"Tempra gets our nod for PC-based 
programs. It's the least expensive of 
the lot and handles a variety of image 

Tom Thompson 
BYTE Magazine, June 1991 

Circle 262 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 263). 



A New Unix 


The HP/ Apollo 710 

Hewlett-Packard/Apollo has introduced two 
new members to its 9000 Series 700: 710 and 
705. These low-priced personal workstations 
use the PA-RISC processor, the fastest RISC 
processor being shipped for the workstation 
market. Although they have a low price, these 
are not low-end machines: The 710 lists for 
$9490, but it runs at 50 MHz and yields a BYTE Unix index of 4.6 (see the table), 
which means that it is more than four times as fast as a comparable Sun Microsys- 
tems Sparcstation IPC. 

and 705 are small, 
elegant, inexpensive, 
and fast systems 

The new HP/Apollo workstations are enclosed in a small, trim case. The CPU can 
stand on edge (as shown) or sit flat on your desk. 

36 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

The BYTE Unix index is a suite of tests 
that evaluate Unix workstation perfor- 
mance on integers, floating-point math, 
operating system, disk access, and system 
loading. We have not yet tested the low- 
end HP/Apollo 705, but we estimate that 
its index would be approximately 3.5. The 
705 runs at 35 MHz and lists for $4990. 

Keeping the Packaging Lean 

These machines are enclosed in a simple 
16%- by 14 3 A- by 3-inch case. They include 
both thick- and thin-wire Ethernet con- 
nections, a parallel port, two serial ports, 
and a SCSI-2 connector. You can save 
yourself some desk space by setting the 
CPU case on edge by attaching the feet 
that are provided. The 710 has an 8-bit 
frame buffer that provides 256 simulta- 
neous colors to either a 1 9-inch ( 1 280- by 
1024-pixel, 72-Hz) display or a 16-inch 
(1024- by 768-pixel, 75-Hz) display. A 
19-inch gray-scale monitor is also avail- 

The minimum systems are diskless and 
come with 16 MB of 80-nanosecond 
RAM, 32 KB of instruction cache mem- 
ory, and 64 KB of data cache memory. 
The RAM can be built up to 64 MB. The 
maximum internal hard drive storage is 
840 MB. The maximum external hard 
drive is 9.45 gigabytes. 

The RISCs of Battle 

The high performance of the 9000 Series 
700 machines is primarily due to the PA- 
RISC central processor. The Unix work- 
station market has turned into a battle- 
ground for competing designs. Sun's 
SPARC design has dominated the work- 
station market for years, and it will prob- 
ably continue to do so for many more years 
because Sun licenses the SPARC design 
for only a token sum. 

IBM's RISC System/6000 brought it 
from being the most laughable RISC 
manufacturer (the IBM RT) to one of the 
most feared (see "Sizzling RISC Systems 
from IBM," April 1990 BYTE). For at 
least a year, the RISC System/6000 was 
the performance leader among worksta- 
tions. But, despite tens of millions of dol- 
lars invested in setting up its marketing 
and distribution, it still does not dominate 
the market. With HP/Apollo's introduc- 
tion of the 720 last year, IBM lost the per- 
formance lead as well. 

Other notable RISC designs are the Mo- 
torola 88000, which doesn't look like it 
will ever be popular for workstations, and 



the Mips processors, which are used in its 
own machines as well as DEC's RISC 
workstations and the most recent designs 
from Sony. The newest Mips processor, 
the R4000, is a full 64-bit processor and is 
integral to the Unix plans of the Advanced 
Computing Environment consortium. 

Targeted markets for the 710 and 705 
workstations include both the technical 
and commercial worlds. HP/ Apollo has 
established itself as a valuable source for 
computer-aided drafting and design work- 
stations. The introduction of the 710 and 
705 may well attract members of the com- 
mercial world, who need the high resolu- 
tion and performance for electronic pub- 
lishing, information management, and 
group/project-oriented networking. 

Already, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, 
Wingz, Oracle, Informix, Ingres, Sybase, 
and the most popular electronic publishing 
and multimedia packages run on these new 
machines. When HP/Apollo introduced 
the 720, there was already a huge reposi- 
tory of software that runs on the PA-RISC 
minicomputers and the HP-UX operating 
system. The number and kinds of appli- 
cations that run on the workstation's design 
and flavor of Unix are important consid- 
erations in evaluating RISC workstations. 

Power Shift 

HP/Apollo's marketing phrase, "Power 
Shift," is fitting. With the kind of perfor- 
mance that the 710 offers at the price that 
it does, the competition is finding itself in 
a frightening race for the affections of the 
budget-conscious workstation buyer. 

For all but intensive graphics applica- 
tions, the 710 is more power than a single 
user needs. It is perfectly feasible and very 
practical to add an X-terminal to the con- 

HP/ Apollo claims that the 710 can gen- 
erate 950,000 three-dimensional vectors 
per second. This is nearly twice the per- 
formance of any comparably priced com- 
petitor's workstation. Even with 3-D sur- 
face rendering, this workstation is no 
slouch. As with the Iris Indigo, 3-D graph- 
ics operations are done without a graphics 
pipeline coprocessor. 

The HP/ Apollo 700 line has leapt for- 
ward with the software that makes 3-D 
surface rendering practical on the low-end 
graphics workstations: the PowerShade li- 
braries and software, which includes 
Wavefront Technologies' Personal Visu- 
alizer. The libraries include operations for 
all the basic 3-D rendering problems as 



The 710 's average score of 4. 6 makes 

it more than four times as fast as a Sun 

Sparest ation IPC. 





Arithmetic (type = double) 




Dhrystone 2 without register variables 




Excel throughput 




File copy (30 seconds) 




Pipe-based context switching 




Shell scripts (eight concurrent) 




Sum of six items 




well as adding haze- and ray-tracing. 

If the low end of the 9000 Series 700 
doesn't have enough power for your hefty 
graphics applications, you might consider 
the 750. It has larger caches and can be 
expanded to 384 MB of RAM and 2.6 
gigabytes of internal hard drive storage. 
But if all you want is more disk space and 
another PA-RISC processor, you may need 
only one of the new low-cost 9000 Series 
700 servers. 

Choice Computing 

I used the 710 as my personal workstation 
for a month. I did this to become familiar 
with the machine and also because it gave 
me the nicest working environment with 
which to connect to the BYTE network. 
Yes, the X Window System applications 
are snappy, but with HP's Vue applica- 
tion and window manager (built on 
OSF/Motif), my screen's multiwindowed 
world is also elegant. 

Computing is no longer in the Stone 
Age, and there is no reason why we should 
be so Spartan as to remain with ugly and 
difficult computing environments. Add 
HP's quality and design to the power of 
Unix computing and its network, and you 
have a comfortable and productive world 
in which to work. If you're in the market 
for a desktop workstation for general use, 
the 710 and 705 have the best price and 
performance, without sacrificing quality 
and good looks. ■ 

Ben Smith is a BYTE technical editor, a 
former database consultant, and the au- 
thor of UNIX Step by Step (Howard W. 
Sams, 1990). You can reach him on BIX as 
"bensmith. " 


HP/Apollo 705 and 710 

705 (35 MHz) 

19-inch 8-bit gray scale, diskless, 
710 (50 MHz) 

19-inch 8-bit gray scale, diskless, 

16-inch 8-bit color, diskless, 

19-inch 8-bit color, diskless, 


210-MB internal hard drive, $2000 
420-MB internal hard drive, $2500 

Series 700 servers: 

720 with 32 MB of RAM, 840-MB 
hard drive, $23,440 

750 with 64 MB of RAM, 
1.3-gigabyte hard drive, CD-ROM, 
4-mm DAT backup, $57,190 

750 CRX-24Z 

19-inch 24-bit color, 32 MB of 
RAM, 1.3-gigabyte internal hard 
drive, graphics coprocessor, and 
PowerShade, $63,190 

Hewlett-Packard/ Apollo 

270 Billerica Rd. 

Chelmsford, MA 01824 

(508) 256-6600 

fax: (508) 256-4862 

Circle 1219 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 37 

Fasten your 
seat belt and 
snap in the new 
Hercules Graphics 
Station GOLD! 

Windows acceleration plus: 

• 32,768 colors 

• Graphics processor 

• High resolution • VRAM 

• High refresh rates 







V\ fGOlD 


Hercules Graphics Station GOL' 

High-speed, true color Windows . . . 
and much more! 

Call 1-800-532-0600 for details. 

© Ceortn !99 1 Hercules Cmbl 

Circle 62 on Inquiry Card. 

1 i ll WW m iiu mm 



Battle of the 


The release of 

Microsoft C/C++ 7.0 
sets up a challenge 

for the hearts and 
minds of serious 

On my left, weighing in at 28 MB on disk and 
3200 pages of documentation: Borland C++ 3.0 
with Application Frameworks. (Crowd cheers.) 
On my right, weighing in at 20 MB on disk and 
5800 pages of documentation (with a 500-page 
With Borland C++ 3.0 index): Microsoft C/C++ 7.0. (Crowd cheers 


These two contenders come to you compiling 
C and C++ code. Both target DOS and Win- 
dows applications. They each use a DOS Pro- 
tected Mode Interface server to work in pro- 
tected mode. Both have DOS integrated 
environments that work well in a DOS box under enhanced-mode Windows. They 
each have command-line compilers, linkers, make utilities, debuggers and profil- 
ers for DOS and Windows programs, and Windows resource editors. Both have class 
libraries for building Windows applications, and both have container classes for DOS. 
Yet these are different products. Borland includes a Windows integrated envi- 
ronment, a class library for building DOS applications, custom controls for Windows, 
and an assembler — for $749. Microsoft includes extra compiler and linker options: 
automatic function in-lining, function packaging, andp-code generation — for $495. 
(Microsoft sells separately a Windows integrated environment, QuickC for Windows, 
and Microsoft Macro Assembler.) 

Borland C++ 3.0 (BCC) requires 2.5 MB 
of RAM and a 286 processor to produce 
Windows applications. Microsoft C/C++ 
7.0 (MSC) requires 4 MB of RAM and a 
386 processor. The standard developer's 
machine is probably a 3 3 -MHz 486 with 8 
MB of RAM, so Microsoft isn't exclud- 
ing too much of its real market. If you're 
still developing with an old AT, you now 
have an excuse to get a real computer. 

Compiler Performance 

For years, BCC had the reputation of com- 
piling quickly to get poorly optimized 
code; MSC had the reputation of compil- 
ing slowly to get well-optimized code. 
Neither stereotype holds any longer. Both 
products now compile quickly and pro- 
duce optimized code. In both cases, you 
can trade compilation time for generated 
code quality. 

The table shows the preliminary Dhry- 
stone benchmark results. I used a 25-MHz 
computer with memory and disk caching. 
Microsoft's new maximum in-lining cou- 
pled with global optimization worked mag- 
ic on the Dhry stone benchmark — a major 
plus for Microsoft. 

The Sieve of Eratosthenes benchmark 
results I obtained show Borland slightly 
ahead. There isn't much that can be opti- 
mized in the Sieve code. The results in the 
large model were similar, but not identical, 
to the results in the small model. 

I also timed a complete reconstruction 
of Image2, a moderate-size Windows ap- 
plication. Clearly, MSC has closed the C 
compilation speed gap, even when I let 

Borland C++ 3.0 with Application Frameworks is fine-tuned 
for developing Windows applications. 

With the release of Microsoft C/C++ 7.0, Microsoft has finally 
entered the C++ fray. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 39 






The results indicate a major plus foi 




Run time 

.EXE size 

Text size 

MSC C/C++ 7.0 





Large model 


/Gs /ALVOsae /Gs 




Borland C++ 3.0 

-02 -Z -A - ms 




Large model 

-02 -Z -A - ml 
-01 -Z -A - ms 






BCC use precompiled headers. When op- 
timizing, the two compilers take the same 
amount of time and produce code of sim- 
ilar speed, but the MSC executable file is 
smaller. When quick-compiling, MSC now 
works faster than BCC. MSC's p-code op- 
tion produces smaller code than any other 
option, but it is also much slower code 
than any other option. 

C++ and Class Libraries 

MSC has an implementation of C++ 2.1 as 
described in the Annotated Reference Man- 
ual, plus experimental exception-handling 
extensions. BCC has a C++ implementa- 
tion that mirrors CFRONT 3.0, including 
template extensions. BCC has additional 
extensions known as dynamic dispatch vir- 
tual tables to support message-response 
functions in the ObjectWindows Library, 
Borland's application framework for Win- 
dows. Because of these extensions, you 
can't use OWL with any C++ compiler 
other than BCC. 

OWL will make people who are deeply 
involved in object-oriented programming 
quite happy. On the other hand, Mi- 
crosoft's Foundation Classes, which ba- 
sically encapsulate the Windows applica- 
tion programming interface and keep the 
API nomenclature, make it relatively easy 
for an experienced Windows program to 
migrate to C++. I find OWL nice as far as 
it goes, but it doesn't cover, for example, 
Graphics Device Interface, Dynamic Data 
Exchange, or Object Linking and Embed- 
ding. MFC, while it constitutes a very thin 
layer on top of the Windows API that does 
little abstraction in and of itself, covers 
most of the API in a regular way, and it 
lets you easily add functionality and ab- 
straction by inheriting classes. 

MFC seems to have less overhead than 
OWL. Consider the size of a "Hello, 
World" application. HELLOAPP.EXE 

built with MFC is 14,901 bytes long; 
HELLOAPP.EXE built with OWL is 
1 14,693 bytes long. No, I didn't make a 
mistake: A minimum OWL application is 
over 100 KB on disk, because pretty much 
the whole library links in. Microsoft, on 
the other hand, was able to make its MFC 
classes more granular and to let its linker 
exclude unreferenced packaged functions. 
Packaged functions include, by default, 
all C++ member functions. The big gain 
here is excluding unnecessary member 
functions from the executable image. 

This isn't as bad as it seems, because not 
all that baggage gets into memory. The 
RAM footprint of the MFC HELLOAPP is 
1 8 KB; the RAM footprint of the OWL 
HELLOAPP is 28 KB. I'd like to see Bor- 
land enhance its compiler and linker to re- 
duce the .EXE file size. 

Microsoft has no equivalent to Borland's 
Turbo Vision application framework for 
DOS, which offers a lot of capability and 
makes it easy to build DOS character- 
mode applications that use menus and a 
mouse. MFC has some container classes 
and utility classes that are usable from 
DOS, but the major thrust of MFC is to 
aid Windows developers. 

If you're targeting DOS, Borland's class- 
es will help you more than Microsoft's 
will. But don't expect TV and OWL ap- 
plications to share source code: While the 
two Borland application frameworks use 
similar concepts, they're incompatible. 

Integrated Environments 

BCC offers two integrated environments: 
BC (DOS-hosted) and TCW (Windows- 
hosted). MSC offers one DOS-hosted in- 
tegrated environment, PWB. BC and PWB 
let you get at the full functionality of their 
compilers; TCW doesn't. TCW and PWB 
have browsers; BC doesn't. I like work- 
ing completely within Windows, which 

leads me to favor TCW. But it's frustrating 
that I can't do maximum optimization from 
TCW. PWB (which is much improved 
from previous incarnations) at least lets 
me do everything from one place — in- 
cluding launching Windows applications 
from a DOS box, thanks to some new tech- 
nology — but I wish Microsoft had done a 
real Windows-hosted environment. 

Borland's Resource Workshop is a fine 
tool for Windows developers that is simi- 
lar to Mac ResEdit. MSC now comes with 
the basic set of resource-editing tools from 
the Windows Software Development Kit. 
Borland's TDW debugger now supports 
hardware breakpoints; Microsoft's CVW 
has speed and size improvements, and it 
fully supports C++ and p-code. Borland's 
WinSight is a neat message-monitoring 
utility. Microsoft Link can now build huge 
overlaid DOS programs. 

I could go on at length discussing other 
new features; both packages have many. 
The bottom line is that both MSC 7.0 and 
BCC 3.0 well serve the needs of profes- 
sional Windows and DOS applications de- 
velopers who work in C or C++. There 
was no knockout; the fight has to be scored 
on points, and you're the judge. ■ 

Martin Heller develops software and 
writes about computers. He can be reached 
on BIX as "m he Her." 


Borland C++ 3.0 with Application 


Borland International, Inc. 

1800 Green Hills Rd. 

P.O. Box 660001 

Scotts Valley, CA 95066 

(408) 438-8400 

fax: (408) 438-8696 

Circle 1211 on Inquiry Card. 

Microsoft C/C++ 7.0 

Microsoft Corp. 

1 Microsoft Way 

Redmond, WA 98502 

(800) 426-9400 

(206) 882-8080 


Circle 1212 on Inquiry Card. 

40 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Today, just about everyone 

can use a computer. That's 
why we make a computer 
for just about everyone, 

Acer, ihe Acer logo, ChipUp, AcerAnyWore, AcerFrame, AcerMote and AcerView are registered 
marks of Acer Inc. ond Acer America Corp. UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T Bell Labs. 

trademarks ol 

iicer believes there is room for a different kind of 
computer company. One that not only offers everything 
from entry level PCs to 200 person UNIX™ networks, but 
designs them to grow when you do. Advance when tech- 
nology does. And work as hard for your money as you do. 
for example, Acer invented ChipUp.™ A break- 
through technology that allows you to upgrade a 
386SX system to 
a 486 simply by 
adding a new 
chip. It's like 
buying a new 
computer for the price of a single chip. 

for people on the go, the Acer AnyWare "notebook 
computers pack the power and features of machines 

5 times their size-f or prices that are less than most 
other notebooks. There's a full range of high- 
performance, low-cost models to choose from. 

Ire can also make a lot of people happy all 
at once. Our 64-bit bus, multiprocessor AcerFrame™ 
f ileservers bring minicomputer performance to 
your desktop. And they're backed by our 10 years 
of experience in UNIX systems. 

fr e invite you to see the complete range of Acer 
computers, including our affordable AcerMate™ line. 
And ask about our wide selection of AcerView 1 M moni- 
tors, laser printers,keyboards and other peripherals. 

Call 1-800-SEE- ACER and tell us exactly what 
you need. And then 

we'll give you 
exactly what you want. 

Circle lOon Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 11). 



Dell Delivers Color Computing Without a Price Penalty 

It seems like manufacturers 
have been showing portable 
computers with color screens 
at trade shows for years. In fact, 
they have, starting with those 
so-called technology demon- 
strations a very long time ago. 
Some color portables have been 
available, but at eyebrow-rais- 
ing and wallet-clearing prices 
that hovered around the five- 
figure area. No, thank you. 

The major problem has been 
the availability of color flat- 
panel displays. Finally, color 
LCD screens that can run off 
battery power are becoming 
available in quantity, and that 
means that those long-awaited 
color notebook computers will 
soon appear. 

After months of promises 
from a number of major play- 
ers, the first color notebook I've 
been able to keep for a while 
and test arrived on my desk at the very 
end of 1991. The Dell System 325NC 
shows just how quickly you can get used to 
having color in your briefcase. What's sur- 
prising is the bottom line. Dell has brought 
a full-power color notebook to market for 
not much more than a comparably 
equipped unit with a monochrome screen: 

The 325NC weighs in at a respectable 7 
pounds and measures 8/2 by 11 by 2 l A 
inches. That's a little heavier and a bit 
thicker than your garden-variety mono- 
chrome notebook, but this is one loaded 
notebook computer. It's based on Intel's 
25-MHz 386SL (low-power) processor, 
but more about that later. 

The display on the 325NC is a 9/^-inch 
diagonal passive-matrix triple-supertwist 
nematic LCD that displays 16 colors in 
standard VGA (640- by 480-pixel) reso- 
lution. It can also display 256 colors, al- 
though in CGA (320- by 200-pixel) reso- 

Active-matrix displays are considerably 
brighter than passive-matrix displays. Ac- 
tive-matrix displays also use much more 
power and are more expensive. 

I'd never worked with a passive-matrix 
display before, and I was at first a bit dis- 
appointed. The image isn't as bright as I'd 
like it, and the colors are on the muted 
side. But this isn't, after all, a desktop 
VGA display. It didn't take long for me 
to get used to it, and the more I used it, 

the more I liked it. I soon realized how 
important the color factor is with the ap- 
plications that I use regularly — especially 
in Windows. 

Of course, a color display deserves a 
high-powered and high-quality system to 
go along with it, and the rest of the 325NC 
is no slouch. It's obviously designed from 
the ground up as a cohesive whole. Dell 
has come a long way from its roots as a 
purveyor of me-too clones. 

Today's notebook computers are de- 
signed to use battery power conservative- 
ly. The 25-MHz 386SL that's the heart of 
the 325NC is state of the art for today's 
notebooks. It's crammed with power-sav- 
ing features, including sleep and sus- 
pend/resume modes. Dell has added more: 
custom firmware and a custom applica- 
tion-specific IC whose entire purpose is 
power management. 

The 325NC has yet another state-of-the- 
art feature: A nickel-metal-hydride bat- 
tery lasts longer and doesn't have the 
"memory effect" that nickel-cadmium bat- 
teries are infamous for (i.e., delivering less 
power the more times they're recharged). 

The end result of all this engineering is a 
system that will run for an average of about 

3 hours on a charge. Some notebooks with 
monochrome displays don't do as well. 

As far as other system features are con- 
cerned, the 325NC comes standard with 

4 MB of RAM (expandable to 12 MB), a 
60- or 80-MB hard drive, a 3^-inch 1.44- 

MB floppy drive, and the usu- 
al assortment of ports, includ- 
ing PS/2 mouse and keyboard 
connectors. Options include a 
2400-bps modem and a 9600- 
bps data/fax modem. 

The 85-key keyboard has a 
solid big-system feel. Its lay- 
out is becoming standard for 
today's crop of notebooks. Be- 
cause a pointing device of 
some sort is a necessity in to- 
day's Windows-centric world, 
the 325NC comes standard 
with the Microsoft Ballpoint 
mouse, which is actually a 
miniature trackball. It's not the 
smallest pointing device that's 
available for portable comput- 
ers, but I have found it to be 
one of the best. I use one with 
the notebook computer that I 

On the performance front, the 
325NC is impressive. I ran the 
BYTE Lab benchmarks and found that the 
325NC compared favorably with others 
in its class. This is a machine that's com- 
fortable for even computation-heavy ap- 
plications, especially if you pop in the op- 
tional 387SX math coprocessor. 

Dell's aggressive pricing strategy will 
give the demand for color notebooks a 
much-needed kick in the pants and will 
make competitors very nervous, especial- 
ly those known for premium prices. With 
its $3999 price tag, the question of whether 
you need a color notebook almost becomes 
moot. Color adds a new dimension to 
portable computing, and when you can get 
it for virtually the same price as a compa- 
rable monochrome unit, what are you wait- 
ing for? 

— Stan Miastkowski 


Dell System 325NC 

$3999; with 80-MB hard drive, 

Dell Computer Corp. 

9505 Arboretum Blvd. 

Austin, TX 78759 




Circle 1 2 1 3 on Inquiry Card. 

42 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

l L-JJLu*^j 


":|§' : —_ 


■ • -■!■ -i-J 


3l| "-< 

t^mii^m > 

'COW 1, 



features you want. The service is unsurpassed anywhere. 
And the price you pay is also remarkably affordable. 
Go ahead and browse through the Gateway Cafe 
menu. We serve a wide selection of the freshest items 
in the PC industry. You're sure to find something 
that will appeal to your taste and budget. 


"You ve got a friend in the business. 


Side Q r d e 

r s 

Introducing The Gateway TelePath New Video Options For Your PC 

For $195, you get the Gateway TelePath - a new 
custom-designed V32bis modem with full fax capability plus 
WinFax PrcC Crosstalk* for Windows'" 
and a free trial membership with 
CompuServe! Anywhere else you'd 
pay more for the software alone! 

Gateway 2000's engineers 
designed this internal modem and fax 
card to incorporate everything our 
customers were hungry for in the 
arena of PC communications. 

Speed. The Gateway TelePath 
modem operates up to 14,400 bps. 
The Gateway TelePath send/receive 
fax runs at 9,600 bps. 

Compatibility. The 14,400 bps modem is compatible with the 
standard AT command set and can be used with almost any 
compatible software. With the Gateway TelePath fax, you can 
send to or receive from any Group 3 or earlier fax machine using 
Class 1 or Class 2 commands. 

■ Fax mode: V.17,V29, and V.27ter 

■ Data mode: (try to find one we don't support!) Y32bis, V..32, 
Y.22bis, Y.22, V.,21, Bell 2 1 2 A and 1 03, V.42 and MNP 2-4 error 
correction, V42bis/MNP 5 data compression 

Price. You'll find comparable fax/modem packages can cost 
in excess of $500 not including the software. At $ 195, the 
Gateway TelePath price is very easy to swallow. 

,V~ : mf 

The 15-Inch Crystal Scan 1572FS 

It's bigger, but that's just one of the improvements we've 
made to the 15-inch Crystal Scan 1572FS. The new flat, square, 
non-glare screen reduces distortion around the corners and 
provides an edge-to-edge display area. The refresh rate is higher, 
72 Hz, for added image stability and flicker-free display. Dot 
pitch is 0.28mm. We've also moved the fine tuning controls to 
the front of the monitor for easy access. 

The Crystal Scan 1572FS is an option with 386DX and 486 
systems for an additional $195. Availability is limited. 

The ATI* Graphics Accelerator 

You're really cookin' when you run a Gateway 2000 system 
with ATI's graphics accelerator, the Graphics Ultra. ATI achieves 
a quantum leap in performance by using a highly optimized 
graphics coprocessor on the Graphics Ultra card. The 1024 x 768 
mode is fully compatible with IBM' 85 14, VGA, Super VGA and 
previous IBM graphics standards, which makes it easy to install 
applications using the standard video drivers. 

The ATI Graphics Ultra video card is standard with the 486-33 
system, optional with 386DX and 486 systems. The street price 

of this card is over 12 

$500, but with the 10 

purchase of a § 

Gateway 2000 6 

system, you can 4 

upgrade to it 

for $150! 

SttMttMtt VSA 

Diamond Speed ATI Graphics 
Shir Plus Ultra 

Peripherals are sold only with the purchase of a system. If you already own a Gateway 2000 computer, you can buy peripherals separately. 



New On The Menu: Choose One Software Option Free With Your PC! 

With the purchase of any Gateway 2000 386SX, 386DX or 
486 computer system, you now receive your choice of free 
application software. Pick one from the seven application 
options in our software buffet. We'll install one software option 
on your hard drive, optimally configured for your system and 
Windows, and provide you with the master diskettes and manuals 
- absolutely free. 

You can also buy additional software at extremely competitive 
prices, or choose from other popular applications not listed here. 
Ask your sales person for the details. 

Option #1 

Microsoft Excel for Windows" 3.0 

■ A powerful graphical spreadsheet program 

■ Includes online help for Lotus* l-2-3 s users 

■ PC Magazine's Editor's Choice 
Retail value: $495. Discount value: $300+. Can be yours free 
with a Gateway 2000 PC! 

Option #2 

Microsoft Word for Windows" 2.0 

■ Best selling word processor for Windows 

■ New version 2.0 adds spectacular refinements 

■ Includes online help for WordPerfect 8 users 
Retail value: $495. Discount value: $300+. Can be yours free 
with a Gateway 2000 PC! 

Option #3 

Microsoft PowerPoint for Window f 2.0 

■ Easy-to-use desktop presentations program 

■ Creates high-quality overheads and 35mm slides 
Retail value: $495. Discount value: $300+. Can be yours free 
with a Gateway 2000 PC! 


Option #4 

The Paradox 9 3.5 

■ Award-winning database management program 

■ From Borland' the leader in database and 
programming software 

Retail value: $695. Discount value: $500+. 
Can be yours free with a Gateway 2000 PC! 

Option #5 

The Entrepreneur Pack 

Includes Microsoft's 

Works,'" Publisher 1 " 

and Money!* the latest 

versions, and an 

Entertainment Pack, all 

for Windows, plus TurboTax for Windows* from ChipSoft 

■ Works integrates a word processor, spreadsheet, database and 
more into one easy-to-use program 

■ Publisher has page layout tools to create publications 

■ Money helps you control your finances by writing checks, 
setting budgets, tracking expenses 

■ Entertainment Pack, eight games including Tetris* 

■ TurboTax is an easy-to-use tax preparation program with 
online help for understanding IRS rules 

Retail value: $607. Discount value: $400+. Can be yours free 
with a Gateway 2000 PC! 


M a i n Course 

Option #6 

The Windows Programmer Pack 

Includes Microsoft's QuickC for Windows^ 
Visual Basic for Windows^ Windows Control 
Development KiC MS Windows Help 
Compiler" and MS Windows Programmer's 
Online Reference" 1 

■ Everything you need to create programs for Windows 
You can't buy all of these tools in one package elsewhere, but 
this option can be yours free with a Gateway 2000 PC! 

Option #7 

Microsoft Project for Windows" 3.0 

■ Flexible and easy project management program 

■ Includes interactive online tutorial 

■ PC Magazine calls it the best program in its category 
Retail value: $695. Discount value: $425+. Can be yours free 
with a Gateway 2000 PC! 

If the free software packages offered here don't suit your 
needs, we have others that are very competitively priced. For 
example, if you'd rather get Microsoft Officer' which includes 
Word for Windows, Excel and PowerPoint, you can upgrade to it. 
Office retails for $750, with a discount value of $499. It can be 
yours for only $175 with a Gateway 2000 PC. Ask your sales 
representative for details. 

This offer includes the identical applications contained in 
retail packages but will not include the retail box. You get a 
complete set of diskettes and manuals, shrink-wrapped and 
packaged in a Gateway 2000 box. 

There's A PC Here That's Just What You're I 

Gateway 2000 computer systems - the meat and potatoes of 
our menu - come with all the trimmings at no extra charge. All 
systems have plenty of RAM, two diskette drives, fast and 
reliable hard drives, 16-bit VGA graphics, color monitors and the 
124-key programmable AnyKey™ keyboard. We use only the 
highest quality components in our systems. Every model 
includes MS DOS 5.0, and 386SX, 386DX and 486 models come 
with Windows 3.0 and a Microsoft mouse. 

Substitutions are welcome! We custom build each Gateway 
2000 system to your specifications. 

286 And 386SX Systems 

Gateway 2000's 286 and 386SX systems come in a compact, 
mini desktop model. To give you plenty of room for expansion 

in a small footprint system, 
we integrated the diskette 
drive controller, the video 
chip set and the I/O card on 
the motherboard, leaving 
five 1 6-bit slots open in the 
standard configuration. 
The mini desktop 
models have a 
, MBUffi standard mouse port 
(PS/2 compatible), leaving two 
serial ports open. RAM on these systems is expandable to 16MB 
on the motherboard. The Western Digital* IDE hard drives 
feature a 32K read-look-ahead cache buffer. All mini desktop 
models have Quadtel* BIOS and 200 watt power supplies. 

The 124-key AnyKey keyboard ^* ,m ** m ****<^ ^~<-*/\ 

comes standard with all Gateway 2000 systems, 

M a i n Course 

M a i n Course 

iungry For 

386DX Systems 

The 386 systems have a true 32-bit memory bus and more 
expansion capability. We start with a genuine Intel* 80386 
microprocessor on a Micronics* . . . . 

motherboard. We add a generous 
portion of RAM - 4MB expandable 
to a system total of 64MB. Put in 
64K of cache RAM on the 386/33 
for a nice performance boost. Add 
IDE hard drives from Western 
Digital. Then give them Diamond 
Speedstar Plus™ 16-bit VGA 
graphics cards with 1MB RAM, 
non-interlaced 14-inch Crystal Scan 
1024 x 768 color monitors, Phoenix™ 
BIOS, a Weitek socket on the 33 and 
200 watt power supplies. That's the basic recipe 
for these tried-and-true, workhorse computers. 

Both systems have a 32-bit slot open in the standard 
configuration for RAM expansion. The motherboard has a total 
of one 32-bit and seven 16-bit slots, with one 32-bit and five 
16-bit expansion slots available in the advertised configuration. 
Gateway's 386DX and 486 systems come in a desktop model that 
is roomy and easily accessible, 
A floor-standing tower model 
is an option for 
an additional 

486 Systems 

Gateway 2000's 486 systems run on the real McCoy - an Intel 
80486 processor with built-in math coprocessor and 8K 
instruction cache. The 486/33 has a Micronics* motherboard, 
while the motherboard for the EISA system is custom 
-manufactured forGateway 2000. RAM is expandable to a 
system total of 64MB. Both systems also have an external cache 
to further increase performance: the ISA 
system includes 64K; the EISA PC has 128K. 

New on the 486/33 is the ATP Graphics 
Ultra, which is the fastest video card by far 
in its class. The EISA model includes a 
Diamond Speedstar Plus, which is also a 
high-perfonnance video card. 
Both systems come with 1 MB 
video RAM. 

The 486/33 has eight 16-bit 
slots on the motherboard, six 
available in the standard configuration. The EISA machine has 
eight 32-bit EISA slots on the system board. You have five 32-bit 
EISA slots open in our standard configuration. 

The 486/33 has Phoenix BIOS, while the 486/33 EISA uses 
Award 8 BIOS. Both systems come with Weitek sockets and 200 
watt power supplies. 

Please refer to the backpage of this ad for system 
configurations and prices. 

p=n I 

16 MHZ 286 

1 80286 Processor 
1 2MB RAM 
1 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
140MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 
1 16-Bit VGA with 5 12K 
1 14" Crystal Scan 1024 

Color VGA Monitor 
1 1 Parallel/2 Serial Ports 
1 1 PS/2 Mouse Port 
1 124-Key AnyKey™ Keyboard 
I MS DOS® 5.0 


16 MHZ 386SX 

I Intel® 80386SX Processor 
1 2MB RAM 
1 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
140MB 17ms IDE Drive 
with 32K Cache 
I 16-Bit VGA with 5 12K 

I 14" Crystal Scan 1024 
Color VGA Monitor 

I I Parallel/2 Serial Ports 
1 1 PS/2 Mouse Port 

1 1 24-Key AnyKey Keyboard 

I Microsoft® Mouse 

I MS DOS 5.0 

I MS Windows™ 3.0 

I Choice of Application Software 


20 MHZ 386SX 

I Intel 80386SX Processor 
1 32K Cache RAM 
1 4MB RAM 
I 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
180MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 
1 16-Bit VGA with 5 12K 
1 14" Crystal Scan 1024 

Color VGA Monitor 
I 1 Parallel/2 Serial Ports 
I 1 PS/2 Mouse Port 
I 124-Key AnyKey Keyboard 
I Microsoft Mouse 
I MS DOS 5.0 
I MS Windows 3.0 
I Choice of Application Software 

25 MHZ 386 

I Intel 80386 Processor 
1 4MB RAM 
1 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
I 80MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 
1 16-Bit VGA with 1MB 
I 14" Crystal Scan 1024NI 

Color VGA Monitor 
I 1 Parallel/2 Serial Ports 
1 124-Key AnyKey Keyboard 
I Microsoft Mouse 
I MS DOS 5.0 
I MS Windows 3.0 
I Choice of Application Software 



I Get our 33 MHz 386 system, 
same configuration as listed, 
with a 120MB IDE hard drive 
instead of the 200MB drive. 


I Same features as our 33 MHz 
486 system except this machine 
has 4MB RAM instead of 8, 
and a 120MB IDE hard drive 
instead of the 200MB drive 
in our standard configuration. 


33 MHZ 386 

I Intel 80386 Processor 
1 64K Cache RAM 
1 4MB RAM 

I 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
1 200MB 1 5ms IDE Drive with 

64K Multi-Segmented Cache 
1 16-Bit VGA with 1MB 
1 14" Crystal Scan 1024NI 

Color VGA Monitor 

II Parallel/2 Serial Ports 

1 124-Key AnyKey Keyboard 

I Microsoft Mouse 

I MS DOS 5.0 

I MS Windows 3.0 

I Choice of Application Software 


33 MHZ 486 

I Intel 80486 Processor 
1 64K Cache RAM ^ j^, 
1 8MB RAM 
1 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
I 1.44MB 3.5" Drive 
1200MB 15ms IDE Drive with 
64K Multi-Segmented Cache 

I ATI Ultra VGA with 1MB 
1 14" Crystal Scan 1024NI 

Color VGA Monitor 

I I Parallel/2 Serial Ports 

1 1 24-Key AnyKey Keyboard 

I Microsoft Mouse 

I MS DOS 5.0 

I MS Windows 3.0 

I Choice of Application Software 


33 MHZ 486 EISA 

I Intel 80486 Processor 
1 8MB RAM 
1 1.2MB 5.25" Drive 
11.44MB 3.5" Drive 
1 340MB 15 ms SCSI Drive with 
1 28K Multi-Segmented Cache 

I 32-Bit EISA SCSI Controller 
1 16-Bit VGA with 1MB 

1 14" Crystal Scan 1024NI 
Color VGA Monitor 

I I Parallel/2 Serial Ports 

1 1 24-Key AnyKey Keyboard 

I Microsoft Mouse 

I MS DOS 5.0 

I MS Windows 3.0 

I Choice of Application Software 



• One-year wananty • 30-day money-back guarantee 

• Lifetime toll-free technical support • Free on-site service 
to most locations • Free bulletin board technical support 

• C.O.D. temis and major credit cards honored • Net 30-day 
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Sales Hours: 7am-10pm Weekdays, 9am-4pm Saturdays (CST) 
Service Hours: 6am-Midnight Weekdays, 9am-2pm Saturdays (CST) 
All prices are subject to change. Prices do not include shipping. 



"You've got a friend in (he business." 

8 0-523-2000 

610 Gateway Drive • N. Sioux City. SD 57049 • 605-232-2000 • Fax 605-232-2023 



©1991 Gateway 2000, Inc. Gateway 2(XH) and AnyKey are trademarks of Gateway 2000, Inc. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. 



Twiddling at My Computer 

The first time I saw the Twiddler, I 
was enchanted. An alternative input 
device that is both keyboard and mouse, 
the Twiddler fit my hand comfortably, se- 
cured by the adjustable Velcro and nylon 

Economically designed for right- or left- 
handed use, the 5-inch-long Twiddler is 
equipped with a 6-foot cord and is capable 
of working as far as 50 feet away from 
laptop and desktop computers with an ex- 
tension cable, a definite advantage when 
giving presentations. 

The Twiddler has three rows of miniature 
oval keys on the front surface. Each row is 
designated by a color: red signifying the 
left row, blue the middle row, and green 
the right row. An oval pattern of small 
round buttons on the top back curve of the 
Twiddler provides thumb control of Alt, 
Control, Shift, function, and number keys, 
as well as control of the unit's mouse ca- 

The 12 finger keys on the front of the 
unit emulate a 1 1-key keyboard via chord 
keying. You press and release one or more 
keys at a time, with each combination gen- 
erating a unique character or command. 
You can create your own key chords for 
words and groups of words that you use 

The mouse pointer in the Twiddler is 

based on an electrolytic tilt sensor that is 
sealed inside the device. By pressing the 
mouse button on the top of the unit and 
pointing with your index finger in the di- 
rection you want the device to tilt, you 
control the cursor on the screen. 

The people at Handykey promise that 
most of us can learn the alphabet on the 
Twiddler in about 3 minutes and will mas- 
ter the device in about 10 days. I was 
doubtful that I would be able to claim such 
victories. But sure enough, when I started 
to use the device, I quickly found myself 




System requirements: 

DOS 3. 1 or higher, Windows 3.0 or 

higher; keyboard and serial ports. 

Handykey Corp. 

141 Mount Sinai Ave. 

Mount Sinai, NY 11766 

(800) 638-2352 



Circle 1214 on Inquiry Card. 

remembering not only the alphabet, but 
also the preprogrammed macros. By the 
third time I picked up the Twiddler, my 
finger memory was beginning to kick in, 
and I was automatically able to press the 
proper chords for letters and words that 
require key combinations. 

Each time I used the Twiddler, I noticed 
a bit more control over my hand, so I was 
able to type faster and more accurately. 
Twiddling my way through my work is an 
appealing alternative. 

— Carol], Swartz 

New Sleuths Delve Deep 

Let's face it: A "standard" 
PC simply doesn't exist. 
Take here at BYTE, for exam- 
ple. Besides a few standard 
add-ins, each editor has a cus- 
tom-configured system, with 
parts and pieces from a variety 
of manufacturers. Diagnosing 
pesky problems or installing 
peripherals and add-ins in this 
bewildering hodgepodge can 
be a nightmare. 

Diagnostic utilities are de- 
signed to help. Several prod- 
ucts are available, each updated 
on a regular basis to keep up 
with the march of technology. 
In the past, we've given Dari- 
ana's System Sleuth a so-so rat- 
ing. But the release of System Sleuth Pro- 
fessional 4.0 and WinSleuth Professional 
2.0 has changed my opinion. These prod- 
ucts — one for plain-vanilla DOS and one 

WinSleuth Pfov2.0 

Elle Blag Disk Hardware Memory Mel QpSys Win Help 

1/0 Expansion 
VGA adapfn («*»] 

Floppy Diivai: 
B: 3 1/2" Hi Density 

Bass Mem »Ml* 
Extended - 71 68K 

CPU: Intel 8M86 Microprocessor 

Enhanced 101 or 102 key US and Hon US keyboard 

Di. r !-'y Colot. analog 


The lolcwing Narration wS owe! you rr rndatng a 
w expansion board Please loSow the menufactmer'; 
on Ixhm lo let the appropriate jumpers. DIP iwitches. 




D*000l> ■ D7FFFh (UMB H^ FWMj 



EO0OOh-E3FFFh [UMB Hioh-F!AM| 



for Windows — are cutting-edge utilities 
that ferret out even the most annoying in- 
termittent problems. 
The latest incarnations of System Sleuth 

and WinSleuth are fully re- 
designed and expanded from 
their prior versions. Both are 
similar in their abilities. 
They're designed to diagnose 
problems and help with instal- 
lations. There are, however, 
some intriguing differences. 
WinSleuth has all the abilities 
of System Sleuth, but because 
it is a Windows utility, it's 
graphics-oriented. Also, be- 
cause of the underlying tech- 
nical complexity of the Win- 
dows environment (and the 
probability of more esoteric 
things going wrong), it has 
many more features. There's a 
bewildering array of icons, 
whose features are thankfully available on 
those ubiquitous pull-down menus. 

I simply don't have the room to cover 
all the features of WinSleuth. What I found 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 51 



particularly interesting was a "tune-up" 
option that made specific recommenda- 
tions on how to change my WIN.INI and 
SYSTEM.INI files for maximum perfor- 
mance. And no other diagnostic program 
offers the wealth of Windows-specific in- 
formation that WinSleuth does. You can 
look at the details of Windows memory 
management, descriptor tables, and even 
lists of exception handlers and Windows 

System Sleuth, the plain-vanilla DOS 
version, offers a wealth of similar features 
(sans the Windows-specific ones of Win- 
Sleuth). It shows you virtually everything 
that you'd ever want to know (and more) 
about your system. There's excruciating 
detail about disks, memory, adapters, and 
hardware. It's all wrapped up in a new and 
easier-to-use interface with drop-down 

Both versions of the program offer ex- 
haustive diagnostics for all system com- 
ponents, from the hard drive to RAM. This 

is one area where the non-Windows ver- 
sion has a distinct advantage. Unlike Win- 
Sleuth, which runs the diagnostics only 
one at a time, System Sleuth lets you set up 
a batch file that will run diagnostics con- 

What I found most useful about these 
programs is the Installation Assistant. This 
unique feature performs an exhaustive 
analysis of ROM address space, DMA 
channels, hardware interrupts, and I/O 
ports. It gives you a report of what's free 
and what's being used. This feature alone 
makes the programs worth their weight i n 
gold. I used the Installation Assistant while 
upgrading 10 disparate PCs in my wife's 
accounting office with a new network and 
a variety of new peripherals. Without Sys- 
tem Sleuth, it would have been a verita- 
ble nightmare. With it, I was immediately 
able to set jumpers on add-in boards. 

Either System Sleuth Professional 4.0 or 
WinSleuth Professional 2.0 is one of the 
few programs that I consider absolutely 

and positively necessary on my PC. One of 
them should be on yours, too. 

— Stan Miastkowski 


System Sleuth Professional 4.0 
WinSleuth Professional 2.0 

$169 each 

System requirements: 
System Sleuth Professional: IBM 
PC, AT, PS/2, or compatible. 
WinSleuth Professional: Any sys- 
tem running Windows 3.0 or 3.1. 

Dariana, Inc. 

7439 La Palma Ave., Suite 278 

Buena Park, CA 90620 

(714) 562-5777 


Circle 1215 on Inquiry Card. 

Truevision's Bravado 

Truevision, one of the vet- 
erans of the computer 
video gear business, has thrown 
its hat into a new ring: video 
in a window/video overlay. 
Truevision's Bravado board 
takes in video from an exter- 
nal source (e.g., a camcorder, 
VCR, or laser disc player) and 
shows that video in a window 
on a computer display. The 
video can also be overlaid with 
computer-generated graphics. 
Boards in this class are fre- 
quently used for interactive 
multimedia applications, but 
they have other uses as well, 
ranging from video editing to stock market 

I brought a prerelease Bravado board 
into BYTE's Multimedia Lab for a spin. 
Bravado combines, on a single full-length 
board, all the features I can imagine want- 
ing in a video-in-a-window product. And, 
true to Truevision's style, Bravado does 
more than it has to. It incorporates a full- 
featured VGA adapter (based on the Tseng 
Laboratories ET4000 chip set), eliminating 
the problem of interfacing to existing VGA 
cards, simplifying installation, and free- 
ing up a slot in the bargain. 

Bravado's other twist is that you can 
cascade multiple Bravado boards to pro- 

vide access to multiple video sources. On 
the video-in-a-window side, Bravado does 
its duty: real-time video in a scalable win- 
dow, with accompanying audio. It can han- 
dle NTSC or PAL signals, and it can save 
and load "frozen" video and other images 
to and from disk. 

The board is simple to install. One DIP 
switch sets its port address. A RAM buffer 
is used to process the real-time video, but 
its address is set through software (as it 
should be). Once the board is installed, 
you simply plug your VGA or Super VGA 
monitor into the standard 15-pin connec- 
tor and route your incoming video and 
stereo or mono audio through a sturdy ca- 

ble set that attaches to a 25- 
pin external connector. The 
cable set includes a headphone 
jack. Bravado's on-board am- 
plifier will drive a pair of head- 
phones or small speakers. In- 
ternally, Bravado is equipped 
with a VGA feature connec- 
tor, a cascade connector, and 
fittings for an alluded-to com- 
pression board, which is not 
yet available. 

I tested Bravado with a pre- 
release set of software drivers 
and applications. Bravado's 
software is built to run under 
Windows 3.0. Even at the 
prerelease stage, the entire installation 



with 8-bit VGA, $1295; with 16-bit 

VGA and options, $1495 

Truevision, Inc. 

7340 Shadeland Station 

Indianapolis, IN 46256 



Circle 1216 on Inquiry Card. 

52 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


The Complete SCSI Solution for Personal Computers! 

Everything you need in one package! 

► CorelSCSI Host Adapter & Cable 

► CorelDRI VER Software for SCSI Devici 

► Videotape Guide for Ease of Installatio 

p» 100's of Devices S 


;C -V 

For the exciting world of multimedia, you need space, faster 

access gnd more peripherals, but your computer has limited expansion 

slots. The high performance sojution is CorelSCSI which provides the 

fastest universal interface (up to 10MB / sec.) for up to seven peripherals 

using a.singie card! 

No additional software is needed because CorelSCSI supports hundreds 

of devices. 

And CorelSCSI is multi-platform, with support for DOS,- OS/2, Windows 

and Novell NetWare.' 

- Available in 1 6 bit," 8 bit, and MCA versions. * . " * 

• • * 

Multimedia - ready. 


: Circle 43 on Inquiry Card. 

relSCSU 111 



FAX: (613) 728-9790 
CDN TEL: (613) 728-8200 



process was automated, and a thorough 
testing program was included. The Win- 
dows drivers set the on-board VGA to run 
at resolutions of 640 by 400 pixels, 640 
by 480 pixels, or 800 by 600 pixels in 256 
colors. The 1024- by 768-pixel mode sup- 
ports 16 colors only (the VGA component 
is equipped with 5 1 2 KB of memory). It's 
worth noting that the 256-color display 
modes are compatible with the Multimedia 
Extensions for Windows. 

The lone Windows application, Brava- 

do Control, wasn't quite complete, but it 
gave me a good feel for what the board 
can do. The application consists mostly of 
a real-time video window that can be 
changed to any size and a set of menus 
that lets you fiddle with various video and 
audio adjustments. The program also in- 
cludes a simple "remote-control" dialog 
box that has the ability to control a small 
assortment of video devices through the 
PC's serial ports. 

While the software wasn't quite fin- 

ished, the Bravado board itself proved 
quite robust. It put up sharp, stable video 
and crisp true-color still images. When 
this board hits the streets, the key to its 
success will be the quality of its supporting 
software. Having chosen Windows, True- 
vision is duty-bound to provide a Media 
Control Interface driver for applications 
to hook into. That's yet to come, but after 
my first brush with Bravado, I came away 

— Tom Yager 

A New Generation of Grammar-Checking Technology 

While Grammatik has 
always been an inter- 
esting product and a leader in 
the field of grammar checkers, 
Grammatik V for DOS is a 
significant upgrade. 

With this new version, Ref- 
erence Software introduces the 
industry's first paragraph-level 
checking that tells you when 
you've used the same word too 
often. Another unique feature 
is access to 1 customized writ- 
ing styles, each with three lev- 
els of formality. 

Grammatik V uses a new parsing engine 
to analyze sentences. The engine is inte- 
grated with the first root-based dictionary 
and spelling checker. The dictionary and 
parsing engine use 96 grammatical at- 
tributes (e.g., parts of speech) to analyze 
sentences — more than twice the number 
used by Grammatik IV. Sixty rule classes 
of grammar, according to Reference Soft- 
ware, add thousands of rules that help iden- 
tify complex writing problems, such as 
subject and verb or pronoun agreement er- 
rors. Version V also suggests replacements 
for many more grammatical errors. 

The program works with 25 word pro- 
cessors and is hot-key-accessible within 
WordPerfect, WordStar, Microsoft Word, 
Professional Write, PFS:First Choice, and 
XyWrite III Plus. 

When running Grammatik in interac- 
tive mode, it pauses at each writing prob- 
lem and awaits your response. It displays 
the current writing problem highlighted in 
the paragraph, displays the rule class for 
the writing problem, offers advice for cor- 
recting the problem, suggests a replace- 
ment word or phrase, and gives you op- 
tional commands for responding. The 
easiest way to correct an error is by choos- 
ing the Replacement command. By press- 

ing the F2 key when you see Replacement 
in the advice window, Grammatik replaces 
the highlighted error with its suggested re- 

Grammatik also has a Learn Word com- 
mand. This puts a word into its spelling 
dictionary. I always have a hard time 
checking spelling in technical material be- 
cause the spelling checker doesn't "know" 
what I think are common acronyms and 


Grammatik V for DOS 


System requirements: 
IBM AT or compatible with DOS 
3.0 or higher, 640 KB of RAM, and 
a hard drive. 

Reference Software International 

330 Townsend St., Suite 1 19 

San Francisco, CA 94 107 

(800) 872-9933 



Circle 1 21 8 on Inquiry Card. 


abbreviations. So the only use- 
ful spelling checker is one 
that, like Grammatik V, can be 

Another problem I've had 
with spelling and grammar 
checkers is that they always 
think they know best. In some 
cases, I think the rules of writ- 
ing should be a bit more flexi- 
ble. Grammatik V addresses 
this as well, by letting you ig- 
nore the rules or corrections it 
throws at you. 

All the added features in 
Grammatik V are well and good, but the 
beta copy I tested wasn't as proficient as I 
would have liked. In one case, it read my 
use of it's incorrectly and told me to use its. 
I'm glad that I knew better. In a few other 
instances, it actually went backward to 
find problems. It would identify a prob- 
lem at the end of a sentence, jump to the 
beginning of that sentence or a previous 
one, and find another problem. I ended up 
ignoring many of the "problems" it found. 
But there were cases in which I think it 

What I like best about the program are 
the statistics. It rated this First Impression 
a 54 in the Flesch Reading Ease. That's 
"fairly difficult" to read and indicates about 
a tenth-grade reading level. It also gave 
me a Fog Index of 13, indicating the ap- 
proximate grade level a reader must have 
achieved to understand this First Impres- 

In conclusion, assuming the problems I 
encountered will be resolved by the time 
the software is released, Grammatik V 
could be must-have software for every per- 
son who writes. It did clean up my typos 
and helped with some grammatical con- 
struction. I find all that worth $99. ■ 

— Anne Fischer Lent 

54 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Why do they 
cal it a dongle? 

He wasn't famous. He 
didn't drive a fancy car, 
but dressed in his favorite 
Comdex T-shirt and faded 
blue jeans, he set out to 
change the course of the 
computer software industry. 
Quite a task for a lonely 
software developer. 
Sitting in front of his 

: drinking 
&:'. pots of 
!^r coffee 

'cartons of 
' cigarettes, 
he'd write pages 
of code. 

It took time. Years in fact. 
But he did it. He wrote the 
most powerful computer 
program in the world. Now 
came the hard part. Selling it. 

The Most Powerful 
Program in the World 

Determined to make those 
long years pay off, he called 
on every distributor, VAR and 
dealer in the world. He drove 
from Beantown to San Diego. 
Flew from Dublin to Borneo. 
Everyone loved the program. 

So he sold a few. Only 
a few. 

Back in Boston he 
waited. After a long year 

with only 13 orders he set 
out to see what happened. 
As he drove across the 

country and 
flew around 
the world he 
discovered everyone 
knew about his program. 
Everyone had it too. 

The Global Marketplace 

From Paris to Prague, his 
program was everywhere in 
Europe. When he got off the 
plane in Hong Kong he found 
his program stacked to the 
ceiling in every computer 
store. Amazed in disbelief, he 
bought a hundred cartons 
of cigarettes and a hundred 
pounds of Indonesian 
coffee and flew 
back to Boston. 

Beaten, battered 
and bruised he went 
back to the drawing 
board. This time he 
would really 
change the face of 
the software industry. 
He would develop a device 
that would prevent 
unauthorized distribution of 
software programs. 

Call It What You Like 

He developed a hardware 
key. His peers applauded his 
efforts. Finally, a solid solution 
for revenue protection. 

But he didn't know 
what to call it. He thought 
of naming it after an exotic 
place he visited in his travels. 
Madagascar was a bit too 
long, though. 

"Name it after you, 
Don!", urged his peers. 
So he did. Soon 
everyone was calling 
the key a dongle, * 
after Don Gall— & 
the lonely software M 
developer who did 
what he had to do. 

You've Come 
A Long Way, Baby 

Today, dongles are different. 
Fact is, they've come a long 
way. Leading the 
. industry with 
' security solutions, 
i Rainbow Technologies 
has changed the face of 
hardware keys. They work 
with multiple applications, 
are programmable and 
network versions control 
concurrent usage. And 
they're always transparent 
to the end-user. 

Sentinel Family 
from Rainbow 

Truth is, more and more 
developers are using keys. 
And the Sentinel Family is 
the most widely used in the 
world. In fact, over 6,000 

developers use Sentinel from 
Rainbow. Why? They are 
simply the most effective, 
reliable and easy to implement 
keys on the market. 

Learn more about securing 
jp your software 
and how keys 
provide developers 
with extra value. 
Call for a free copy 
of "The Sentinel 
Guide to Securing 
Software." And see 
just how easy it is to 
install a hardware 
key into your 
application in just 
minutes. Try it 
with our low cost 
Evaluation Kit. Q^m 
Order one for 

your DOS, OS/2, Windows, 
Macintosh or UNIX based 

And remember, when 
you need a dongle, you need 
Sentinel— the only dongle 
Don Gall would use. 





Securing the future of software 

Some call it a dongle. Those who know, call it Sentinel. 


T E C H N L G I E S 

9292 JER0NIM0 ROAD, IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92718 ■ 714/ 454-2100 ■ fax 714/ 454-8557 
International offices are located in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. 

Circle 1 1 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 111). 

Finally, a CASE platform that moves 

/ k i s l i\ n i t; o 

i twnMHnu t ti 

CASEVision and IRIS Indigo- 

CASE like you Ve never seen it before. 

You've known us as the company 
that builds hot graphics machines. 
Now we've taken that vision and 
applied it to CASE. 

The result: we've created an intui- 
tive, visual interface 
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programmers think. 

We've also included 
an entire suite of the 
most advanced and fastest C, C++ 
and FORTRAN programming, 
compiling, debugging and analysis 
tools available today - designed for 
large, multiple-language, and even 
multi-processing applications. 

Put all this on any of our award- 
winning IRIS Indigo™ RISC/PCs, 
and you've got the ultimate software 
development platform. 

Where you go with all that power 
is completely up to you. 

See for yourself. Get our 
CASEVision™ and IRIS Indigo 
literature package and find out 
where to check them out in person. 

Call 1 (800)800-7441. Ext. 12 


Computer Systems 



A Mirage 

of Mixed Media 

in Color 

The Mirage IPS Unix 
workstation provides ex- 
pandability and Next-like 
multimedia features. The 
SPARC-based workstation 
is built around the 25-MHz 
LSI chip set. 

Available in diskless and 
disk versions, the Mirage IPS 
ships with Solaris 1 .0 and 8 
MB of RAM (expandable to 
64 MB). It features a Wei- 
tek FPU, a Sparcstation chas- 
sis with three SBus slots 
and room for three internal 
drives, and a 17-inch flat- 
screen color display with 
noninterlaced 1 1 5 1 - by 
900-pixel resolution and 256 
colors. Also included are an 
Ethernet port, a SCSI-2 port, 
two serial ports, and a 
sound port. The Mirage IPS 
with disk is preconf igured 
with a 340-MB hard drive. 
Price: Diskless version, 
$4990; disk version, $6990. 
Contact: Mobius Computer 
Corp. , 5635 West Las Posi- 
tas, Building 4-410, Pleas- 
anton, CA 94588, (800) 662- 
4871 or (510) 460-5252; 
fax (5 10) 460-5249. 
Circle 1271 on Inquiry Card. 



a New Tempo 

The Everex Tempo Car- 
rier notebook features 
the KeyMouse pointing de- 
vice and a minimum of 2 MB 
of RAM in its 5% pounds. 
The 20-MHz 386SX unit in- 
cludes a 314-inch floppy 
drive and a 40- or 80-MB 
hard drive. 

Designed into the note- 
book, the KeyMouse uses the 
J key as a pointer control- 
ler, giving you multidirec- 
tional control when you ap- 
ply pressure on the edges of 

The Mirage IPS offers object-oriented mixed-media 

the key. For times when 
you prefer to use a mouse, 
Everex bundles its 400-dpi 
two-button mouse with the 
unit. The backlit VGA LCD 
screen has resolutions of up 
to 640 by 480 pixels with 
32 shades of gray. Ports are 
available for an external 
VGA monitor, serial and par- 
allel devices, and an exter- 
nal keyboard. The Tempo 
Carrier has an internal ex- 
pansion slot for a 9600-/ 
2400-bps fax/modem and 
power-on password protec- 
tion. Its RAM is expand- 
able to 8 MB, and the note- 
book ships with DOS 5.0 
and Windows 3.0. 
Price: Starts at $2795. 
Contact: Everex Systems, 
Inc., 48431 Milmont Dr., 
Fremont, CA 94538, (800) 
821-0806 or (510) 498-1111. 
Circle 1 272 on Inquiry Card. 

A Positive Step 

The 25-MHz 386SX PC 
Positive 320N and 
320ND notebooks have 
RAM expandable to 10 MB 
and ports for external color 
monitors. DOS 5.0, Win- 
dows 3.0, Microsoft Works 
for Windows, and a Micro- 
soft Productivity Pack are 
preloaded on the hard disk. 

The PC Positive 320N 
has 2 MB of RAM, a 40-MB 
hard drive, a 3 Vfe-inch flop- 
py drive, a mouse, an AC 
adapter, and a carrying 
case. The deluxe PC Positive 
320ND comes with 4 MB 
of RAM, a 60-MB hard 
drive, a 9600-/2400-bps 
fax/modem, and an extra bat- 
tery. The 9-inch paper- 
white backlit LCD screens 
have a 640- by 480-pixel 
resolution with 32 shades of 
gray. Each 6 Vi -pound ma- 
chine has a standby feature to 
extend battery life to 3 Vi 
hours. Options include an ex- 
pansion system that lets you 
add a hard drive, a CD-ROM 
drive, or other device. 
Price: PC Positive 320N, 

$1799.99; PC Positive 
320ND, $2399.99. 
Contact: Positive Corp., 
9174 Deering Ave., Chats- 
worth, CA 91311, (818) 
341-5400; fax (818) 718- 
Circle 1 273 on Inquiry Card. 

A Workstation 
in Modules 

Designed for high- vol- 
ume network comput- 
ing, the Netmate modular 
workstation offers a built-in 
upgrade path via its inter- 
changeable daughtercards. 
The cards plug into the 
motherboard, letting you 
change the CPU from the 
basic 20-MHz 16-/32-bit 
386SX to a 20-MHz 32-bit 
486SX or 25-MHz 32-bit 486 

The diskless worksta- 
tions have upgrades for flop- 
py and hard drive configu- 
rations and include video 
capabilities for graphics- 
intensive applications. Net- 
mate uses the Tseng Labs 
ET4000 graphics processor 
and runs in Super VGA with 
800- by 600-pixel resolu- 
tion at 16 colors with 256 KB 
of video RAM; interlaced 
or noninterlaced mode is se- 
lectable at setup. You can 
add 768 KB of video RAM to 
the main logic board for 
1024- by 768-pixel resolution 
in 256 colors. Features in- 
clude 2 MB of 80-ns RAM, 8 
KB of on-chip cache mem- 
ory in the 486SX and 486 
units, and an on-chip math 
coprocessor in the 486 

Price: Diskless models 
from $1699 to $2999. 
Contact: Datamedia 
Corp., 20 Trafalgar Sq., 
Nashua, NH 03063, (603) 
Circle 1 274 on Inquiry Card. 

58 BYTE • MARCH 1992 



Bring Hi-Fi 
Sound to Your 

For those of you who 
compose music on your 
computer, use it for multi- 
media presentations, or do 
MIDI or voice synthesizing 
on it, the Bose RoomMate 
Computer Monitor may fit 
right into your scheme of 
things. Incorporating 
Bose's HVC driver and pro- 
prietary distortion-limiting 
circuitry for a full range of 
digital output, the speaker 
includes a built-in amplifier 
and active equalization cir- 
cuitry. The unit provides 
stereo or mono high-fideli- 
ty sound, depending on the 
sound chip in your com- 
puter. Magnetically shielded, 
the 6- by 6- by 9-inch 
speaker includes built-in 
volume control. 
Price: $339 a pair. 
Contact: Bose Corp., The 
Mountain, Framingham, MA 
01701, (508) 879-7330; fax 
(508) 872-6541 . 
Circle 1 275 on Inquiry Card. 

A Laser Printer 
with RISC 

| annesmann Tally's 
MT908 laser printer's 
enhanced resolution tech- 
nology gives the illusion of 
higher than 300-dpi resolu- 
tion. Combining Hewlett- 
Packard LaserJet III com- 
patibility with RISC 
processing performance, 
the printer uses the com- 
pany 's Enhanced Edge 
Technology to provide 
smooth edges for type and 
graphics in all sizes. 
Able to print at 8 ppm, 





The Bose RoomMate Computer Monitor unlocks your 
computer 's sound. 

the MT908 has a RISC con- 
troller featuring an Intel 
80960 32-bit 16-MHz proces- 
sor. The printer's standard 
memory is 1 MB, expandable 
to 5 MB, and 1- and 2-MB 
upgrade modules are avail- 
able. The MT908 has eight 
scalable LaserJet III fonts, 14 
resident bit-mapped fonts, 
and HPGL/2 for shading and 
filling of fonts and graph- 
ics. An optional PostScript- 
compatible interpreter is 
available as a daughterboard 
that plugs into the 

Price: $1995; upgrades, 
$230 to $599. 
Contact: Mannesmann 
Tally Corp., 8301 South 
180th St., Kent, WA 98032, 
(206) 25 1-5500; fax (206) 
Circle 1 276 on Inquiry Card. 

Drive for the Mac 

3 ! /2-inch magneto-opti- 
cal drive for the Macintosh 
features 128 MB of storage 
on a removable, rewritable 

optical disk cartridge the size 
of a 3 '/2-inch floppy disk. 
The drive has an average ac- 
cess time of about 30 ms. 
Available as an internal 
drive and in an external con- 
figuration, the DataPak 
MO/128 meets ISO/ANSI 
standards for 3 Vs-inch opti- 
cal technology. The external 
drive is compatible with all 
Mac computers and includes 
external SCSI termination; 
push-button SCSI ID selec- 
tion; software utilities for 
formatting, partitioning, and 
diagnostics; and compati- 
bility with System 7.0. The 
internal configuration is 
designed for the Mac Quadra 
900 and includes a mount- 
ing kit with the necessary in- 
stallation hardware. 
Price: External drive, 
$1795; internal drive, $1495; 
cartridge, $129. 
Contact: Mass Microsys- 
tems, 810 West Maude Ave., 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086, 
(408) 522-1 200; fax (408) 
Circle 1 277 on Inquiry Card. 

Fast Backup 
on a SCSI 

A3 ! /2-inch SCSI mini- 
cartridge tape backup 
system, the Excel 560 backs 
up 560 MB of uncompressed 
data or more than 1 giga- 
byte of compressed data at 32 
MB per minute. The Excel 
560' s data burst rate exceeds 
4 MBps, and it has a sus- 
tained user data transfer rate 

Available in internal and 
external models, the Excel 
560 conforms to the QIC- 
121 SCSI specification. 
Downward compatible with 
current QIC standards, the 
system is also compatible 
with major network operating 

Price: Internal, $1579; ex- 
ternal, $1729. 
Contact: Everex Systems, 
Inc., 48431 MilmontDr., 
Fremont, CA 94538, (800) 
Circle 1 278 on Inquiry Card. 




Consisting of four 
models, the Passport 
XL removable hard drives 
for PCs and Macs provide 
52, 105, 120, and 240 MB 
of storage in an internal or 
external configuration. 

The drives provide ac- 
cess times as fast as 9 ms, 
seek times as low as 17 ms, 
and a sustained date transfer 
rate of 1 .4 MBps. Quantum 
uses its proprietary DisCache 
technology in the drives, 
which have from 64 KB to 
256 KB of RAM, depend- 
ing on configuration. 
Price: $918 to $1897. . 
Contact: Quantum Corp., 
500 McCarthy Blvd., Milpi- 
tas, CA 95035, (408) 894- 
4000; fax (408) 894-3205. 
Circle 1279 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 59 



Direct Capture 
to Display 

The FG-15XX family of 
video capture boards for 
ISA-bus PCs offers direct 
capture to VGA display in ex- 
tended modes. The video 
digitizers' VGA support in- 
cludes pass-through of 
VGA, extended VGA, and 
Super VGA signals. The 
monochrome models support 
256 levels of gray; the color 
models support 32,768 

Resolution choices on the 
FG-15XX boards are 512 by 
512, 640 by 480, or 768 by 
512 pixels. You can capture 
images in x / 30 second and 
display them directly from 
the capture card in real 
time on a multisync monitor 
or transfer them to your 
video card and display them 
in modes with up to 1024- 
by 768-pixel resolution. 
Other features include 1- 
KB by 24-bit output lookup 
tables, a four-channel mul- 
tiplexer, and external capture 
and event control. The 
monochrome versions also 
have two memory pages. 
Software support includes 
compatibility with TARGA, 
TIFF, and PCX files. 
Price: $895 to $1295. 
Contact: Imaging Automa- 
tion, Inc., 7 Henry Clay Dr., 
Merrimack, NH 03054, 
(603) 598-3400; fax (603) 
Circle 1 280 on Inquiry Card. 

SCSI Caching 

The TenTime Controller 
TNT-6000 32-bit SCSI 
caching controller uses the 
Motorola MC68340 inte- 
grated processor with built- 
in 32-bit DMA for an average 
access time of 0.2 ms. The 
controller's cache is expand- 
able to 80 MB. Other fea- 
tures include compatibility 

Import images for VGA display with the FG-I5XX video 

with the WD1003 protocol, 
support for SCSI-1 and -2 de- 
vices, an RS-232 test port, 
and compatibility with ISA 
and EISA systems. Options 
include disk mirroring and 
Columbia Data Products 
drivers and software. 
Price: With 0.5 MB of 
cache, $995. 

Contact: Laura Technol- 
ogies, Inc., 3212 South Fair 
Lane, Tempe, AZ 85282, 
(602) 438-0889; fax (602) 
Circle 1281 on Inquiry Card. 


for a Notebook 

The HardPak data-com- 
pression system from 
Ceram increases hard drive 
performance by as much as 
25 percent and drive capac- 
ity by as much as 50 percent, 
Ceram claims. The board 
fits into a single 8- or 1 6-bit 
ISA or EISA PC expansion 
slot, including most note- 
books and laptops. 

Built with Ceram' s pro- 
prietary CRM 1000 high- 

speed solid-state data 
compress ion/decompression 
engine, the HardPak pro- 
vides 32 KB of on-board 
write-through disk cache, 
which increases to 96 KB 
after compression. Requir- 
ing no modification to your 
machine's configuration, 
the HardPak features a user- 
selectable system address to 
eliminate potential conflicts 
with other devices. Hard- 
Pak, which works with DOS 
and Windows, is transpar- 
ent to most programs. 
Price: $98. 

Contact: Ceram, Inc., 
2260 Executive Cir., Colora- 
do Springs, CO 80906, 
(800) 237-8600 or (719) 540- 
8500; fax (7 19) 540-8855. 
Circle 1 282 on Inquiry Card. 

Audio I/O and 
DSP Together 

The AT-DSP2200 DSP 
accelerator board gives 
you 25 MFLOPS of pro- 
cessing power. Based on the 
AT&T WEDSP32C chip, 
the board is a dedicated nu- 
merical computation 

The AT-DSP2200 has 
two channels of 16-bit analog 

input with 64 x oversam- 
pling delta-sigma modulating 
A/D converters and built-in 
antialiasing filters. With a 
92-dB signal-to-noise ratio, 
— 95-dB total harmonic dis- 
tortion, and ±0.015 ampli- 
tude flatness, the board can 
acquire signals with ex- 
tremely high accuracy 
without introducing noise, 
National says. Additionally, 
the board has an RTSI 
serial-data bus interface, 
flexible triggering through 
the software on the 
WEDSP32C chip, and on- 
chip DMA. 
Price: Starts at $2495. 
Contact: National Instru- 
ments Corp., 6504 Bridge 
Point Pkwy., Austin, TX 
78730, (800) 433-3488 or 
(512) 794-0100; fax (512) 
Circle 1 283 on Inquiry Card. 

Internal Hard 
Drives for Macs 

The DiamondDrive In- 
ternal hard drives from 
Mass Microsystems are 
configured for the Mac II, 
Ilci, Ilf x, Ilex, and Quadra 
'700 and 900 computers. With 
drive mechanisms manu- 
factured by Maxtor, the 
drives have storage capaci- 
ties of 120, 210, 320, and 
510 MB. Data transfer 
rates*to and from the media 
reach 2 MBps; data rates to 
and from the buffer are as 
high as 5 MBps. Average 
access times range from 1 2 
m s for the 5 1 0-MB drive to 
15 ms for the other three 

Price: $849 to $2899. 
Contact: Mass Microsys- 
tems, Inc., 810 West Maude 
Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 
94086, (408) 522-1200; fax 
(408) 733-5499. 
Circle 1 284 on Inquiry Card. 

60 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


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Applicable to any AT&T 

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MS QuickC for Windows 125 

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C Communications 

BreakOut II 
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C General Libraries 

C Utility Library 
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DataBoss 3.5 

Rational DBMS application gen- 
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Turbo Pascal for Windows 


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Dan Bricklin's Demo II 


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Version Control 



PVCSConfig. Builder 


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PC Tools Deluxe 7.0 


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At the Beep, 
Refill the Tray 

The self-contained and 
self-powered Paper 
Partner lets you know when 
your Hewlett-Packard or 
Apple LaserWriter printer 
has run out of paper. Com- 
pact and easy to install, the 
electromechanical device fits 
into the paper tray. Its nick- 
el-plated contact and sensor 
arm, which rests on the 
paper, starts signaling when 
it touches the bottom metal 
plate of the tray and contin- 
ues to beep until the tray 
has been refilled. 
Price: $69.95. 
Contact: Action Laser 
Products, 1440 South State 
College Blvd., Suite 3D, 
Anaheim, CA 92806, (800) 
289-1983 or (714) 49 1- 
1983; fax (714) 491-0501. 
Circle 1285 on Inquiry Card. 

66 Fonts 

in a Cartridge 

The latest of Computer 
Peripherals' Jet Ware 
font cartridges, the DeskJet 
cartridge provides 66 high- 
resolution fonts for Hewlett- 
Packard DeskJet 500 ink- jet 
printers. The cartridge in- 
cludes CG Times, Univers, 
Brush Script, and Dom Ca- 
sual typefaces. 

When you plug the car- 
tridge into the DeskJet 500 
printer, the printer drivers 
are automatically installed in 
the application, giving you 
access to the font sets, each 
of which supports as many 
as 15 symbol sets, including 
European languages. Desk- 
Jet ships with a complete set 
of drivers for word process- 
ing and desktop publishing 
software such as Windows 
3.0 and WordPerfect 5.1. 
Price: $149. 

Contact: Computer Periph- 
erals, Inc., 667 Rancho Con- 
ejoBlvd., Newbury Park, 

A Digitizer 

the Size 

of a Mouse Pad 

The Paper Partner tells you when your printer is out of paper. 

CA 91320, (800)854-7600 
or (805) 499-5751; fax 
(805) 498-8306. 
Circle 1286 on Inquiry Card. 

Network Cable 

The DX40A Network 
Cable Tester instantly 
checks the integrity of any 
twisted-pair cable wired for 
Ethernet, lOBase-T, or 
AT&T 258A applications. 
After you plug in both cable 
ends, the unit displays the 
test results via four two- 
color LEDs that show wheth- 
er the cable is wired accord- 
ing to the standard. By 
combining two units, you 
can test unshielded twisted- 
pair wire that has already 
been installed. The cable 
tester operates from an in- 
ternal 9-V alkaline battery. 
Price: $39.95. 
Contact: L-com, Inc., 
1755 Osgood St., North An- 
dover, MA 01845, (508) 
Circle 1 287 on Inquiry Card. 




Create detailed tempera- 
ture charts on your PC 
with just a few keystrokes 
using the XR220 Pocket Log- 
ger and software. A four- 
channel pocket-size tempera- 
ture recorder, the XR220 
can record up to 32,256 time- 
based temperature readings 
over a time span of less than 
a day or more than 2 years. 
The Pocket Logger software 
lets you transfer the re- 
corded data to your PC. The 
logger's circuitry protects 
against signal noise. 
Price: Starter kit with an 
XR220 Pocket Logger, Pock- 
et Logger software, PC in- 
terface cable, and tempera- 
ture probe, $595; logger 
only, $495. 

Contact: Pace Scientific, 
P.O. Box 10069, Charlotte, 
NC 28212, (704) 568-3691; 
fax (704) 568-0278. 
Circle 1 288 on Inquiry Card. 


illed as the world's 
smallest digitizer, the 
AceCat 5- by 5-inch tablet 
takes up less space than a 
normal-size mouse pad and 
weighs only 1 l / s pounds. De- 
signed with ergonomics in 
mind, the AceCat gives you 
the freedom to sit, stand, or 
even recline while using it. 

The AceCat includes four 
drivers: AADI, for Autodesk 
applications; Ace96, with a 
utility file for setting tablet 
parameters for applications 
that support a larger tablet; a 
mouse driver; and a Win- 
dows driver. You also get a 
two-button stylus pen. 
Price: $129. 

Contact: AceCAD, 8 Har- 
ris Court, Building A- 100, 
Monterey, CA 93940, (800) 
676-4223 or (408) 655-1900; 
fax (408) 655-1919. 
Circle 1 289 on Inquiry Card. 




Afield radiation monitor 
that measures potential- 
ly hazardous electromag- 
netic radiation generated by 
AC power lines, transform- 
ers, video display terminals, 
lamp ballasts, and related 
products, Walker's MF-5D 
Portable Fluxmeter mea- 
sures from the gamma level 
up to 200 kilogauss. Incor- 
porating an instrument, a 
sensor, and a cable, the 
fluxmeter has a frequency re- 
sponse range from DC up 
to 100 kHz. 

Price: $1753; coils, $283 
to $600. 

Contact: Walker Scien- 
tific, Inc., Rockdale St., 
Worcester, MA 01 606, 
(800) 962-4638 or (508) 852- 
3674; fax (508) 856-9931. 
Circle 1 290 on Inquiry Card. 

64 BYTE* MARCH 1992 


Raima Database Engine 
Captures FortunelOO 

-With Record Sp 

Now Raima D^ta Manager 

Formerly db VISTA III 

Accelerated Database Performance 

Compared to conventional relational databases, retrieval 
of records can be 10 — 20 — even 50 times faster with 
Raima Data Manager from Raima Corporation. 

Propelling The Biggest Names In Business 

Companies like General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, 
Eastman Kodak, Rockwell and others are using Raima 
Data Manager in their competitive environments. 
Today's most critical, most demanding applications 
demand the high performance of Raima Data Manager. 

Powerfully Efficient Leading-Edge Technology 

Raima's combined technology merges the flexibility of 
relational databases with the lightning speed and efficient 


The High Performance DBMS 

storage of the network model. With the program written 
entirely in C, you can "fine-tune" the Raima Data Manager 
engine for optimum performance in any application. 

Put Yourself In Fast Company 

Give yourself the competitive edge of Raima Data Manager 

• Speed — faster access to data 

• Portability — supports most environments 

• Royalty-free — increase your profits 

• Source code availility — total programming flexibility 

• Full Raima support services — including training 

Whether you're writing a stand-alone DOS application, 
or one for UNIX accessing thousands of records, Raima 
Data Manager will put your application on the fast track. 
Race to the phone and call for more information! 

In the U.S. or Canada, call: 1-800-DB-RAIMA 

In Washington state or international, call: (206)747-5570 


Relational B-tree indexing. Network data model. Relational SQL query and report writer. Single & multi-user. Automatic recovery. Built-in referential integrity. 
Supports: VMS, QNX, ULTRIX, UNIX System V, Berkeley 4.2, AIX, SunOS, SCO, MS DOS, MS Windows, and OS/2. Most C Compilers and LANs supported. 

Raima Corporation 3245 146th Place S.E., Bellevue, WA 98007 USA (206)747-5570 Fax: (206)747-1991 

International Distributors: Australia: 61 2 4 1 9 7 1 77 Belgium: 32 2 734 9 8 1 8 Finland: 358 080405350 France: 33 1 46 09 27 84 Germany: 49 7022 34077; 49 2 1 4 9 1 05 1 Italy: 39 49 829 1 285 
Japan: 81 33 865 2140 Mexico: 52 83 49 53 00 The Netherlands: 31 2159 46814 Norway: 47 2 38 48 88 Singapore: 65 334 0061 Sweden: 46 13 1 1 1 588 Switzerland: 41 64 517475 

Taiwan: 886 2 552 3277 United Kingdom: 44 992 5009 1 9 Copyright ©1992 Raima Corporation, All rights reserved. Photo: Dale LaFollette 

Circle 1 09 on Inquiry Card. 

Inside Information 

On The World's First 

Fault Tolerant PC. 

FROM TEXAS MICRO. If you're the kind of person 
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FROM THE GROUND UP. It's not another PC with 
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Each component is part of a 
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compatible BIOS. This makes FTSA transparently 

The diagnostic system 

keeps you apprised 

of power, data 

and component status. 

All trade names referenced are the service mark, trademark or registered trademark oF the respective manufacturer. 

For Complete Inside Information, 
Place This Card Inside Your Mailbox. 

For free information about the FTSA PC, send in this card; FAX this card to 
1-713-933-1029 ; or for immediate attention, call 1-800-627-8700 . 


□ Internal company use □ Resale □ Both 


□ Network server □ Both 

Applications you are running: «^«i 


□ Yes □ No 

If yes: □ UPS □ Disk mirroring □ Redundant power 

□ Other 

Processor: □ 386 □ 386 SX □ 486 D Other 
Configuration: □ Desktop □ Rackmouni □ Tower 

Important specifications: □ Data security □ Industrial 

□ System availability □ Power management 

□ Other 

Purchase timeframe: □ 30 days □ 60 days □ 1 year 



Resellers, Give Yourself The Inside 
Track To PC Fault Tolerance. 

Texas Micro has reseller programs and incentives that will interest you. Simply mail 
this card FAX it to 1-713-933-1029 or call 1-800-627-8700. 

I am a/an: D OEM □ VAR □ Systems Integrator 
□ Other 



□ Network server □ Both 


□ Yes □ No 

If yes: □ UPS □ Disk mirroring □ Redundunt power 

□ Other 











HOUSTON, TX 77099-9986 












HOUSTON, TX 77099-9986 







adaptable, giving it numerous ways 

H to detect and correct system faults, 
without user intervention. The 

The FTSAPC has two 

externally removable 

power supplies with a built-in 

backup battery. 

A disk array mirrors 

data to protect you from 

head crashes. 

result is a level of intelligent data 
and system protection never before 
achieved in PCs. And FTSA does it 
all without sacrificing performance. 

YOUR DATA. With selective component redundancy 
and monitoring, FTSA virtually guarantees data inte- 
grity. FTSA begins with a data-mirroring disk array, 
which is supplemented by sophisticated auditing and 
archiving systems that make your 
data impervious to system crashes 
and corruption. 

Employing a unique strategy 
called "data change auditing" FTSA 
keeps bit-level records of every data 
transaction to the disk. This allows you to roll back the 
record to any point in time and reconstruct lost files, 
even if you deleted them. 

To further protect data and applications, FTSA 
allows you to easily program special "save" commands 
that execute during any shutdown sequence. Should 
system shutdown become imminent, FTSA will 
automatically write all data to the hard drives and exit 
your applications safely. 

This makes it ideal for mission- critical applications and 
workgroup LANs. In fact, FTSA provides a fault 
tolerant solution for LANtastic and NetWare Lite right 
out of the box. 

Should normal power fail, FTSA has a built-in 
battery backup to keep you on-line long enough to 
secure a safe shutdown. The disk array virtually 

eliminates downtime due to 
hard disk crashes. 

Every component is 
monitored and regulated by a 
coprocessor-driven diagnostic 
system that provides early indi- 
cations in English of any im- 
pending problem, such as disk 
wear, power fluctuations and 
potential component failure. 

FTSA has several cabinet 
configurations to conform to 
different environmental specifi- 
cations — from desktops to 
industrial sites. 




■ BaMJiwMl 



I ■■■&. 

FTSA Micro-tower 




I - ■..! .]] 

FTSA Roclcmount 

• B-slot passive backplane 

• 386/486 upgradable CPUs 

• SCSI hard drives from 
80-525 M8 

• 1.44 MB Floppy 

• Up to 1024x768 

• Redundant power supplies 

• Built-in bockup batteries 

modular design and passive 

backplane give you plug-and- 

play access to every major com- 
ponent, including CPU and 

option cards, which reduces 

Mean Time To Repair to under 

10 minutes. And gives you complete CPU upgradability. 

FTSA truly stands alone. In fact, to match its fault 

tolerance, you'd have to spend 5 to 10 times 
more and get a minicomputer. No wonder 
wi^Ter the FTSA PC was awarded Best Desktop PC 

at Comdex by Byte Magazine. 

Detailed information about the FTSA PC and our 

free "Guide to Fault Tolerant Computing" are just a 

phone call away. Find out today ■ TElf JIO 

how you can benefit from a PC 

that has inner strength. 

Get An Insider's Look At The FTSA PC. Call 1-800-627-8700. 



Get a Grip 
on Token Ring 

Featuring Xircom's 
Tractor Grip for one- 
handed installation, the 
Pocket Token Ring Adapter 
II is software switchable, 
letting you connect your lap- 
top or desktop computer to 
a 16- or 4-Mbps Token Ring 
network. Preconfigured 
with SmartRing software 
(developed by Xircom and 
Madge Networks), the adapt- 
er connects to your PC's 
parallel port and is available 
for use with shielded or un- 
shielded twisted-pair wiring. 
The unit has top-panel diag- 
nostic lights. 
Price: $845. 

Contact: Xircom, 26025 
Mureau Rd., Calabasas, CA 
91302, (818) 878-7600; fax 
(818) 878-7630. 
Circle 1291 on Inquiry Card. 

V.42 Power 
in Your Pocket 

The Practical Pocket 
Modem (PM2400PPM) 
V.42 SendFax from Practi- 
cal Peripherals puts in a 
pocket-size package a full- 
function 2400-bps data mo- 
dem with 9600-bps fax 
transmission capabilities. 
The data modem supports 
V.42 error correction and 
V.42bis data compression. 
Powered by a plug-in 

The software-switchable Pocket Token Ring Adapter II links 
laptops to LANs. 

wall power pack or a nickel- 
cadmium battery pack- 
both are included— the 
PM2400PPM V.42 Send- 
Fax weighs 4 ounces and 
measures 2 l A by 3 by 3 A 
inch. The unit is compatible 
with all Group 3 fax sys- 
tems as well as with the 
Hayes Smartmodem. 
Menu-driven Quick Link II 
fax communications soft- 
ware comes with the modem. 
Price: $299. 

Contact: Practical Periph- 
erals, 31245 La Baya Dr., 
Westlake Village, CA 
91362, (818) 706-0333; fax 
Circle 1 292 on Inquiry Card. 

tures a diagnostic LED that 
indicates link, jabber, and 
reversed polarity and uses 
standard unshielded 
twisted-pair and shielded 
twisted-pair wire. 
Price: $100. 

Contact: Network Interface 
Corp., 15019 West 95th St., 
Lenexa, KS 66215, (800) 
343-2853 or (913) 894-2277; 
fax (913) 894-0226. 
Circle 1293 on Inquiry Card. 

Wire Converter 

The 10305 Ethernet ex- 
ternal lOBase-T Media 
Attachment Unit enables in- 
tegrators to convert existing 
coaxial or autonomous unit 
interface wiring to lOBase-T 
via the AUI port. The 
10305's ability to detect col- 
lisions or cabling malfunc- 
tions maintains the network's 
integrity. The MAU fea- 

The lightweight Practical 
Pocket Modem V.42 SendFax 
does heavy-duty faxing. 

Dove Flies 
to PCs 

DoveFax for DOS sup- 
ports the Class 1 fax/ 
modem standard in its 
9600-bps fax/2400-bps data 
modem. Featuring full 
background send and receive 
capability, call grouping 
and scheduling, and custom- 
izable cover pages, Dove- 
Fax for DOS automatically 
updates logs of incoming 
and outgoing faxes. 

The fax driver in Dove- 
Fax for DOS loads into ex- 
panded memory, providing 
immediate access to the soft- 
ware's capabilities; pop-up 
DOS application support lets 
you fax directly from your 
applications. MNP level 5 

data correction and com- 
pression are included in 
the software. 
Price: $299. 

Contact: Dove Computer 
Corp., 1200 North 23rd St., 
Wilmington, NC 28405, 
(919) 763-7918; fax (919) 
Circle 1 294 on Inquiry Card. 

Da Vinci eMail 

Da Vinci eMail 2.0 for 
DOS offers increased 
power and modularity via 
its open systems architecture, 
which provides a set of ap- 
plication programming inter- 
faces that let you customize 
the product as well as develop 
third-party gateways. In the 
open systems design, the core 
code of the product is con- 
nected to transmission, di- 
rectory, storage, and net- 
work operating-system 

Features new with ver- 
sion 2.0 include folders for 
organizing and archiving 
received mail, message stor- 
age that automatically re- 
covers and reuses space from 
deleted messages, enhanced 
user directories, an edit menu 
with a spelling checker, 
display in 43- or 50-row 
mode, and MHS support. 
Da Vinci eMail 2.0 is fully 
compatible with earlier 

Price: 10-user starter pack, 

Contact: Da Vinci Systems 
Corp., P.O. Box 17449, Ra- 
leigh, NC 27619, (800) 
328-4624 or (919) 881-4320; 
fax (919) 787-3550. 
Circle 1 295 on Inquiry Card. 

70 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


k: '"^Bkt ^ 



Texas Instruments, 
Manager of Distributed Information Services 



Products: LAN Manager, SQL Server, 
Windows, Microsoft Excel 

Servers Installed: 12 mainframes, 
3,500 minicomputers, 500 PC servers 

yjMfy ■'./■" 


PC Workstations: 40,000 

Business Purposes: Marketing, finance, administration, 
manufacturing and office automation. 

/ 1 

Texas Instruments' top executives get 

to the bottom line instantly with Microsoft 

client-server computing. 

Every business wants to know the bottom 
lineThanks to Microsoft's client-server computing 
solution, Texas Instruments' upper management 
sees it instantly Right on their own PCs. 


They can also track inventory monitor sales, 
check raw material prices and find other informa- 
tion needed to make decisions. 

And that's how Jim Powell likes it. Because 
as Texas Instruments' Manager of Distributed 
Information Services, it's his job to provide his co- 
workers with the computer support they need. 
And with Microsoft client-server computing, his 
job is a lot easier. 

Two years ago, a lot of people at Texas 
Instruments found the mainframes difficult to use 
and inflexible. 

So Jim started to look at possible solutions. 
He wanted to find a system that would utilize their 
existing equipment, allow MIS to rapidly develop 
applications, and provide the end users with an 
easy-to-use interface. 

He discovered Microsoft client-server com- 
puting was just what Texas Instruments needed. 

The Windows™ environment was placed on the desk- 
tops and Microsoft 8 LAN Manager and SQL Server 
were integrated into the system. 

There were dividends right away 
Jim's group was able to quickly develop client- 
server applications, like the executive decision sup- 
port system. Which means the users didn't have to 
wait forever to get the computer support they 


needed. And with Windows, the information on the 
mainframes was easier to access. 

Simply put, Jim was able to get the right 
information, to the right people, the right way 

If you'd like a case study onTexas 
Instruments' migration 

to Microsoft's client- 
server solution, call us 
at (800) 992-3675, 
Dept.X32. We'll tell 
you how you can profit 
from their experience. 



© 1992 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S. A. Offer good only in the 50 United States. In the United States, call (800) 992367$, Defit. X32. For information only: In Canada, call (800) 563-9048. Outside the United States and 
Canada, call (206) 936-8661. Microsoft Is a registered trademark ami Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 



Manager Scans 
and Captures 

FaxFiler has gained ad- 
ditional duties. Now able 
to give your fax machine 
the capability to scan docu- 
ments and capture fax 
images to your PC, FaxFiler 
can still send and receive 
faxes and manage fax docu- 
ments in a database file. 
The components FaxScan, 
which only scans, and Fax- 
Capture, which only scans 
and captures, are also avail- 
able separately. 

Compatible with DOS 
and packaged with Windows 
3.0, FaxFiler enables you to 
use your existing fax ma- 
chine as a hard-copy input 
device to your PC fax card 
without requiring an addi- 
tional phone line. You can 
save fax documents to your 
hard disk in standard formats 
for viewing later, resend- 
ing, or editing, and you can 
save images in TIFF. Fax- 
Filer automatically captures 
incoming and outgoing 
faxes in DOS and Windows 
and simultaneously re- 
ceives fax documents at your 
computer system and fax 

Price: $695; FaxScan, 
$395; FaxCapture, $495. 
Contact: Extended Sys- 
tems, 6123 North Meeker 
Ave., Boise, ID 83704, 
(800) 235-7576 or (406) 587- 
7575; fax (208) 377-1906. 
Circle 1 296 on Inquiry Card. 

LAN Adapter 
for Notebooks 

A flexible intelligent 
cable and a lightweight 
parallel port connector on 
the NotePort Pocket LAN 
adapter let you easily join 
your notebook computer to a 
network. Supplied with 
connections for lOBase-T 
and coaxial Ethernet 

Scan and capture images to a PC with the newest FaxFiler. 

LANs, the NotePort connects 
to the notebook's parallel 
port and automatically senses 
the cabling interface that 
you select. 

The NotePort integrates 
its power supply into its 3 l /2- 
by 5!/2- by 1 '/2-inch form. 
Preconf igured with NetWare 
software drivers, the unit's 
one-step installation proce- 
dure enables you to quickly 
link up to your LAN. 
Price: $395. 

Contact: Kodiak Technol- 
ogy, 1338 Ridder Park Dr., 
San Jose, CA95 13 1,(408) 
441-6900; fax (408) 441- 
Circle 1 297 on Inquiry Card. 

Token Ring 
Host Module 

The Model 3505A UTP 
Host Module addresses 
problems that can occur 
with unshielded twisted-pair 
(UTP) wiring at high 
speeds, such as network sig- 
nal distortion and near-end 
cross talk. The module pro- 
vides retiming at each 
Token Ring hub port, simpli- 
fying installation and con- 
figuration management, as 
well as providing consis- 

tently reliable network per- 
formance, according to 

When installed in a Syn- 
Optics System 3000 intelli- 
gent hub, the Model 3505A 
supports as many as 1 32 
Token Ring stations as far 
away as 100 meters from the 
hub, using the UTP wiring 
found in most buildings. 
Compatible with SynOp- 
tics' Model 3505 UTP Token 
Ring Host Module, the 
Model 3505A can be con- 
nected to the 3505 module 
in a single ring or hub. 
Price: $2095. 
Contact: SynOptics Com- 
munictions, Inc., 4401 Great 
American Pkwy. , Santa 
Clara, CA 95052, (408) 988- 
2400; fax (408) 988-5525. 
Circle 1298 on Inquiry Card. 

X Server 
for Microsoft 

The XoftWare for Win- 
dows X Window System 
server lets you work in 
Windows 3.0 or 3 . 1 to cut 
and paste between X and 
Microsoft Windows applica- 
tions. Using Windows as a 
local window manager, you 
can configure icons to start 
specific network-based X ap- 
plications that have the look 
and feel of Windows. 

You can start X applica- 
tions in Xoft Ware's single- or 

multiple-window mode, 
and you can configure the 
XoftWare for Windows 
server for your preferred X 
start-up mode, such as 
XDMCP, telenet, rsh, rexec, 
or passive. As a Windows 
user, you can transparently 
access X-based Unix and 
VAX applications, integrat- 
ing the environments as you 

Price: $495. 

Contact: AGE Logic, Inc., 
9985 Pacific Heights Blvd., 
Suite 200, San Diego, CA 
92121, (619) 455-8600; fax 
Circle 1 299 on Inquiry Card. 

A New Network 

Version 2. 0d of the Net- 
work Archivist extends 
the software's intelligent 
storage management fea- 
tures. The new version has 
a prioritized list of tapes to 
use when full system, vol- 
ume, or disk restores are re- 
quested, and it recommends 
the tape sequence that will 
ensure the fastest restores. 
This extension ensures that 
the volume or system is re- 
stored to its original state. 
Other new features in- 
clude the ability to restart a 
restore if the restore opera- 
tion is aborted and the 
TNARECOV utility, which 
can run unattended restores. 
Additionally, export opera- 
tions now record all NetWare 
security, rights, and attri- 
bute information. 
Price: $995; upgrades 

Contact: Palindrome 
Corp., 850 East Diehl Rd., 
(708) 505-3300; fax (708) 
Circle 1351 on Inquiry Card. 

72 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Free i860™ Processor and i860/APX Software! 

By now, you've probably heard about our industry- first 
4860™ MotherBoard that packs the power of the Intel 
80486 CPU with the Intel 80860 RISC processor 
What you haven't heard is that, 
for a limited time, when you buy 
a 4860 MotherBoard with 8MB of RAM, 
Hauppauge will give you an i860 RISC 
processor and the i860/APX operating 
system at no additional cost. 
Why give you this capability? Because 
you'll enjoy a level of processor perform- 
ance never before seen in a PC. Our bet 
is that you'll be so impressed, you'll 
come back for more! 
A PC Revolution: In the PC environment, 
the 4860 is a 486 - based MotherBoard with the new 
EISA I/O bus. It runs over 2 times faster than 386 com- 
puters and delivers mainframe power for applications 
including CAD, LAN and desktop publishing. This board 
is fully compatible with DOS, IBM's OS/2, Novell 
Netware and SCO UNIX. What's more, Hauppauge's 
4860 supports up to 64 MBytes of memory without^ 
RAM expansion board. 

RISC-Y Business: The i860 processor is ideal in com- 
plex applications, performing up to 25 million floating- 
point operations per second. It adds to the power 
of the 486, so you can run rings around ordinary PCs. 

By adapting Intel's APX (Attached Processor Executive) 
software to our 4860 MotherBoard, we've created 
away to exploit the power of the i860 to give 
you fyractical multiprocessing. In fact, i860/APX 

provides a base for entirely new appli — 
cations made possible by the advent 
of the i860 RISC processor. 

Technical Features: 25 or 33MHZ 

486/860 ■ 4 Mbytes of high speed 
RAM expandable to 64 Mbytes shared 
between i486 and i860 processors 
■ Socket for optional Intel Turbo Cache 
485™and Weitek 4167 ■ 8 EISA I/O 
slots- 64- bit expansion slot for 
optional high-speed graphic frame 
buffer- 1 parallel, 2 serial ports and 
a built-in PS/ 2 -style mouse port. 

Enjoy a RISC- free investment. Our 4860 MotherBoard 
is designed with the world's highest performing 
microprocessors. So you can have the world's highest 
performing PCs and workstations. 

For more information, call 1-800-443-6284. 

Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc 

91 Cabot Court 

Hauppauge, New York 1 1788 

Telephone: 516-434-1600 

Fax: 516-434-3198 

In Europe (49) 2161-17063 

In Australia: (7) 262-3122 

In England: 071-378-7309 

MARCH 11-18. 1992 

Hall 6 
SQ Booth D51 


Available at your local computer dealer. 

Trademarks: OS/2: IBM ■ Intel 386, i486, i860 andTurbo Cache 485™: Intel Corp. • DOS andXenix: Microsoft Corp. ■ 4860, 4860 MotherBoard: Hauppauge 

Circle 61 on Inquiry Card. 



C++ Upgrades 
from Borland 

The release of Turbo 
C++ for Windows and 
C++ and Application 
Frameworks 3.0 further es- 
tablishes Borland in the 
Windows development mar- 
ket. The two applications 
development and mainte- 
nance products feature Bor- 
land's object-oriented C++. 

Turbo C++ for Windows 
offers a GUI development en- 
vironment with visual pro- 
gramming tools and a library 
that enables DOS-based C 
and C++ programs to run in 
Windows. Turbo C++'s 
ObjectWindows framework 
provides built-in objects, 
and Resource Workshop lets 
you create Windows re- 
sources such as icons, fonts, 
and bit-mapped graphics 
without writing code. 

C++ and Application 
Frameworks 3.0 includes all 
the programming tools pro- 
vided in Borland C++ 3.0, 
plus the ObjectWindows 
and Turbo Vision applications 
frameworks. The frame- 
works let you define a stan- 
dard user interface for your 
operating system by provid- 
ing interface building 
blocks, fundamental data 
structures, and support for 
object-oriented program- 

Price: Turbo C++ for 
Windows, $149.95; C++ 
and Application Frame- 
works 3.0, $749. 
Contact: Borland Interna- 
tional, P.O. Box 660001 , 
Scotts Valley, CA 95066, 
(408) 438-8400; fax (408) 
Circle 1300 on Inquiry Card. 

Hie I (ill Search I Inn <:nni|iili; i'mjrrl HrnwnK (l|iliimr. Wiinlnw 


Object Browser 

, .IWm.lowr.nh'Tll 


Project: paim 
:' l-llc Name Lin* 

(703) 478-0181; fax (703) 


Circle 1 302 on Inquiry Card. 

Turbo C++ 's ObjectBrowser lets you visually browse through 
class hierarchies , functions, and variables. 

Shell Features 
Ease of Use 

| entor's everyday syn- 
tax, automatic menu 
creation, and development 
features simplify the task of 
creating your own expert 
applications, according to its 
developer. The program 
lets you use backward and 
forward chaining, a proce- 
dural language, and object- 
based reasoning to build ap- 
plications with multiple 
knowledge bases. Mentor 
features interfaces to Lotus 
1-2-3, dBase, and ASCII 
files, and it can interface 
with files written in C, as- 
sembly, FORTRAN, and 

The program is available 
in two versions. The personal 
version lets you develop and 
run expert applications on a 
single PC running DOS; 
the developer's version lets 
you develop and distribute 
your applications to other 
PCs. Mentor is not current- 
ly network compatible. 
Price: Personal version, 
$495; developer's version, 

Contact: Icarus Corp., 1 
Central Plaza, 1 1300 Rock- 

ville Pike, Rockville, MD 
20852, (301) 881-9350; fax 
(301) 881-2542. 
Circle 1301 on Inquiry Card. 

A System 7.0 



Language Systems FOR- 
TRAN 3.0 is the first 
System 7.0-savvy compiler 
language for the Macintosh 
operating system, according 
to its developer. LSF lets you 
compile applications that 
include such System 7.0 
features as Publish/Sub- 
scribe and Apple events. 
Enhancements to the com- 
piler include 68040 code gen- 
eration, advanced debug- 
ging, and Cray pointers. 
LSF's interface to the Mac 
Edition manager lets you 
Publish a data file and 
Subscribe to graphing or 
spreadsheet applications 
with automatic data 
Price: $495. 
Contact: Language Sys- 
tems Corp., 441 Carlisle 
Dr., Herndon,VA 22070, 

ART-IM Comes 
to Windows 
and Unix 

The ART-IM knowl- 
edge-based system de- 
velopment tool is available 
now in Windows and Unix 
versions. ART-IM/ Win- 
dows 2.5 and ART-IM/Unix 
2.5 use Inference's Case- 
Based Reasoning technology, 
which lets you construct 
knowledge bases from case 
histories and access those 
histories when similar situa- 
tions occur. According to 
Inference, CBR speeds up 
development of applications 
that incorporate experience- 
based advice, such as help 
desks and engineering design 

In addition to CBR, 
ART-IM includes rule-based 
reasoning, procedural pro- 
gramming, and hypothetical 
reasoning with consistency 
management. The program 
supports integration with 
external databases and pro- 
vides automatic conversion 
of external data into ART-IM 
knowledge-base objects. 

ART-IM/Windows sup- 
ports the environment's Dy- 
namic Data Exchange with 
applications such as spread- 
sheets, word processors, 
and databases. The Unix ver- 
sion features an on-line tu- 
torial and provides support 
for Sun-4 Sparcstation, HP 
9000, IBM RISC System/ 
6000, and other Unix 

Price: Windows version, 
$8000; Unix versions, 
$12,500 and up. 
Contact: Inference Corp., 
550 North Continental Blvd., 
El Segundo, CA 90245, 
(213) 322-0200; fax (213) 
Circle 1 303 on Inquiry Card. 

74 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


What power supply is inside 
your computer? If you are like 
most people, you dorit know, 
and frankly, don't care. 
But, because your computer's 
power supply is a critical 
system component, what you 
don't know, may hurt you, An 
inferior power supply can 
cause interference, rebooting, 
hard drive errors, and other 
nasty hard-to-track problems. 
So why take chances? Call the 
power supply specialists at 
PC Power and Cooling today. 


Turbo-Cool 300 

Ordinary Power Supply 


1. 50% TO 100% MORE POWER 

The more power, the better! Our high-capacity 
units start drive motors with ease, run cooler, 
last longer, and allow for future expansion. 


Turbo-Cool power 


supplies won t skip 

a beat when the line < 

voltage sags.Their 

wide input range 

(85-135V, 170-270V) 

and heavy-duty input 

components protect your 

PC and its data from sags, surges and spikes. 


A dual-stage EMI filter keeps electrical noise 
well below agency standards. 


Turbo-Cool's superior independent-regulation 
design keeps output voltage tolerances 20 
times tighter than that of an ordinary 




power supply This exceptional stability 
improves hard drive reliability during critical 
access periods. 


A dual-stage output filter ensures that sensitive 
computer chips receive pure, low-ripple power. 


Our units offer the most complete protection 
from dangerous overvoltage, overcurrent, 
and short circuit conditions. 


The Turbo-Cool 300 features ThermaSense, 
our high-capacity, 
controlled, variable- 
speed fan. It's ideal! 
systems operate up to 
35° cooler while 
standard ones run 
as much as 75% quieter. 

ThermaSense fan 

50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 
Air Temperature (°F) 


Our high-capacity units are safety approved 
by not only UL, but also by Canada's CSA 
and Germany's strict TUV. 


Turbo-Cools are designed and tested for 
MTBFs of over 100,000 hours. They come 
with a no-hassle 2-year warranty and a 
30-day money-back guarantee. 


Loaded with premium features, a Turbo-Cool 
power supply will upgrade the performance 
server at a retail cost 
per watt. You'll be 
powered by a unit that 
is popular with award- 
winning PC manufacturers 
and recommended by experts 
such as the PC Magazine Advisor! 

Turbo-Cool 450 


5995 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008 • (619) 931-5700 • (800) 722-6555 • Fax (619) 931-6988 

Circle 93 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 94). 

We never dreamed 
for creating the best PC 

Object-oriented, event-driven operation 
means that you get the benefits of a 
Graphic User Interface (GUI) on your DOS 
PCs, and code that s reusable from 
application to application. 

FoxPro 2.0 is the state-of-the-database-art, 
an object-oriented, event-driven DBMS that 
runs in DOS to protect your information 
systems investments. 

4GL Tools (Fourth Generation 
Language) simplify the creation 
of Mac-like applications on your 
DOS PCs, using keyboard 
shortcuts or a mouse. 

Event-driven operation allows 
you to work with any number 
of resizable, scrollable 
windows, get to all of your 
data all of the time. 

Rushmore query optimization is unique 
to FoxPro and gets your answers as 
much as hundreds of times faster than 
competitive products. 


Work Areas 

Optional Distribution Kit creates 
stand-alone .EXE files for 
distributing your applications. 

I I Quotes 
CXI Shipped 
C 1 Billed 

Output to: 
(•) Printer 
( ) Disk 
( ) Screen 


Customer Fox Software I Crater Lakes, Inc. 
Contact Kennamer, Walt I Fox Software 
Phone 419-874-0162- I Janes, King and Ole 
City Perrysburg I Karyatid Construction 
*~ncik Enterprises 
..jitrix Systems, Inc. 
Contact Kingsley, Mary | The Pawluk Group, Inc. 




Application Program Interface (API) links 
to external libraries written in C or 
assembler. Third-parties are currently 
developing communications, client/server 
access and other packages. (Optional 
Library Construction Kit available.) 

For users, the View window makes 
it easy to work with multiple tables 
of data, RQBE (Relational Query 
By Example) simplifies the 
creation of business queries. 

FoxPro 2. runs your industry- 
standard d BASE programs today 
lets you build on your current 
systems for your needs tomorrow. 

Applications you write in FoxPro 2.0 can 
exchange data with our FoxBASE-h/Mac on a 
LAN today will run virtually unchanged under 
our Windows, Mac and UNIX versions currently 
in development (no release date yet). 

Response to FoxPro 2.0 has been 
overwhelmingly favorable. 

And that's the problem: the response has 
been overwhelming. 

We're hearing of callers being on hold for 
20 minutes or longer! 

And this in spite of ramping up our 
support months in advance of the release. 

Well, we're adding another 40 phone 
lines and hiring more people. And if that's 
not enough, we'll add even more. 

In the meantime, we'd like to say 

we'd be apologizing 
database in the world. 

Results from an extensive suite of query tests independ- 
ently performed by Micro Endeavors, Inc. and 
published in the 8/91 issue of Data Based Advisor. 

FoxPro 2. is far faster than the other PC 
database management systems and raw 
compilers like Clipper, both single-user and 
on a LAN. 

"Thanks" to the tens of thousands of you Call 1-800-837-FOX2 or 419-874-0162 again. 

who put up with the wait, and "Sorry" to yv ^ r, (We believe we've fixed it) 

those who didn't. S l2o 

But please try again. We think we've got |iy; 
things under control now. 

And FoxPro 2.0 really is worth the wait. 


Query benchmark tests performed by Micro Endeavors, Inc. (215) 44&4680. FoxPro and FoxBASE+/Mac are trademarks of Fox Holdings Inc.; other products and services are not. © Fox Holdings Inc. 1991. 

Circle 56 on Inquiry Card. 



See Your Act 



merges digital map- 
ping technology with the 
Act PC contact-tracking 
database to display your 
contact data geographically. 
The add-on software lets 
you search for contacts on 
your map and then import 
that contact information to 
Act, where you can use the 
data to do such things as 
form proposals and compile 
totals. MapLinx uses ZIP 
codes to view and select 
contact regions. 
Price: Without ZIP code 
boundaries, $99; with bound- 
aries, $399. 

Contact: MapLinx Corp., 
801 Presidential Dr., Rich- 
ardson, TX 75081, (214) 
231-1400; fax (214) 783- 
Circle 1 304 on Inquiry Card. 

MapLinx 's color mapping capabilities let you associate 
particular shades with contact, sales, or other information. 

Unix Graphics, 
Mail, and More 

With release 2.0, the 
Aster*x office integra- 
tion system offers improve- 
ments to its GUI and word 

processing, graphics, 
spreadsheet, and mail capa- 
bilities. The program runs 
on eight Unix platforms. 
Aster*x's tool bar lets 
you access program func- 
tions and user-defined 
macros. Word processing 
tools provide 16 foreign 
dictionaries and eight thesau- 
ri, and you can merge live 
foreign text into an Aster*x 
document. The program's 
graphics capabilities include 
support for rotating and 
scaling text. The paint pro- 
gram comes with a 125- 
color palette and tools such 
as fill, brighten, and blend. 
Aster*x 2.0's built-in file 
formats include X bit-map, 

Windows bit-map, and 
Amiga IFF ILBM. The 
spreadsheet now lets you drag 
and drop column widths, 
highlight individual cells or 
cell groups, and search for 
text or numbers. The pro- 
gram adds 46 financial, 
math, string, and other func- 
tions to its collection of 
spreadsheet tools. Enhance- 
ments to Aster*x Mail in- 
clude the ability to select 
preferred fax cover sheets, 
signatures, and mail format. 
Price: $695 and up. 
Contact: Applix, Inc., 112 
Turnpike Rd., Westborough, 
MA 01581, (508) 870- 
0300; fax (508) 366-9313. 
Circle 1 305 o n Inquiry Card. 

with Motif GUI 

Running i n the HP-UX 
environment, AutoPlan 
offers graphical project 
management to users of HP 
9000 workstations. Auto- 
Plan lets you produce bar 
charts and histograms that 
illustrate project schedules, 
resources, costs, and rela- 

tionships within your work. 
The program uses the Motif 
GUI and features full 

AutoPlan is available as a 
stand-alone product or encap- 
sulated in Digital Tools' 
SoftBench software develop- 
ment environment. Auto- 
Plan is also available for Sun- 
3 and Sun-4 Sparcstations, 
the DECstation series, and 
IBM RISC System/6000 
Price: Node-lock version, 
$1495; floating-user version, 
$2995 per license. 
Contact: Digital Tools, 
Inc., 18900 Stevens Creek 
Blvd., Cupertino, CA 
95014, (408) 366-6920; fax 
Circle 1 306 on Inquiry Card. 

Like a Pro 

Forecast Pro Batch uses 
univariate techniques 
such as exponential 
smoothing and simple mov- 
ing average to forecast un- 
limited numbers of items 
automatically. FPB 1 . 1 de- 
velops exception reports, 
monitors for forecast bias, 
and offers an evaluation op- 
tion, which lets you with- 
hold data from the end of 
your series so that you can 
compare the forecasts to 
actual values. 

You can import and ex- 
port data between FPB and 
Lotus 1-2-3, ASCII files, 
or Structured Query Lan- 
guage databases. The com- 
pany also offers a 500-item 
version of the program. 
Price: Standard version, 
$3995; 500 version, $1995. 
Contact: Business Forecast 
Systems, 68 Leonard St., 
Belmont, MA 02178, (617) 
484-5050; fax (617) 484- 
Circle 1 307 on Inquiry Card. 

You can add audio attachments and video images to your 
Aster* x documents. 

78 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

The new multi-mode VEDIT PLUS is 
the only text editor you will ever need! 

The most powerful text editor for program 
development and text processing 

Drop-down menus, mouse support 
Columnar blocks, regular expressions, undo 
Also VEDIT for $69, VEDIT Jr. for $29 

The fastest text editor for mainframe, 

CD ROM and other huge files 

Edit up to 2 Gigabyte text, binary, mainframe files 

Edit in ASCII, EBCDIC or Hexadecimal 

Emulate Wordstar, Word Perfect, Brief, vi, others 

-head _ptr+* = 8; 
else If ( ! IsdigtU •headjtf ) ) 
return I BAKHftl|); 

end_ptr = hcad_ptr; 
htidjtr = biif ; 

•define BAKll/lH - 
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ft IN i 
flft Html i 

mi m i 

He Mnr API) CRT t 
idoliiif MWViL tl 

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U£0 1 1 .EXE fQSIT[Uh;UBBB:| , B'Jt) 

The new VEDIT PLUS is today's finest programmer's editor. 
Small (80K) and lightning fast, it is written entirely in assembly 
language. VEDIT PLUS is the only programmer's editor that can 
edit any text or binary file you will ever encounter. 

Incredibly, VEDIT is over 20 times faster than other editors on 
just a 3 megabyte file. When editing multi-megabyte files, only 
VEDIT has the speed to get the job done. 

Benchmarks in 3 Meg File 

Save and continue 
Load, modify, save, exit 
Block-column copy (40x200) 
Delete one column in file 
60,000 search & replace 


52 sec 

21 sec 

2 sec 

9:58 min 

•-■ - i - 


3:52 min 

49 sec 

30 sec 

1 :50 hour 

1:44 hour 


1 :47 min 
1 :38 min 

2 sec 
1 :03 hour 
1 :32 hour 

The extensive compiler support runs popular compilers and also 
your favorite linkers, debuggers and Make from within VEDIT. It 
even integrates tools from different vendors. When shelling to 
DOS, VEDIT swaps itself and TSRs out of memory, giving you 
as much as 620K of available memory for compiling the biggest 
programs. Only VEDIT gives you the advantages of a powerful 
editor with the convenience of an integrated environment. 

VEDIT PLUS has every advanced feature you might expect. 
Simultaneously edit numerous files, split the screen into windows, 
search/replace with regular expressions. Automatic indent, block 
indent, parentheses matching and block operations by character, 
line, file or column speed program development. Word wrap, 
paragraph formatting, justification, centering and many printing 
options are ideal for text processing. 

VEDIT PLUS has the most powerful macro programming lan- 
guage of any editor. It eliminates repetitive editing tasks and lets 
you create your own editing functions. It includes testing, branch- 
ing, looping, user prompts, keyboard input, string and numeric 
variables, complete control over windows plus access to hard- 
ware interrupts, memory and I/O ports. Source level debugging 
helps you develop new macros quickly and easily. 

19 22 ZB 74 6F ZB G6 BB Dfl 3C 81 53 18 3E 28 6F 
72 2B 3C 81 52 5B 3E 2B CI 9F 69 U CB 28 CI 61 
6S 73 63 72 65 61 28 DO 28 C2 28 6F 72 28 3C 15 
6E 74 65 72 3£ 28 Si 6E 65 78 71 28 DF 3fl 88 62 
BB 15 52 Zf 11 15 56 13 13 15 28 IE IF 51 28 52 
15 11 11 53 88 82 8B 19 IE 17 28 2D 2$ 28 83 DA 
3C 13 71 72 6C 2D 13 3E 28 74 6F 28 41 62 6F 72 
71 28 38 52 45 41 11 BC B8 82 A2 28 IE IF 51 2B 
11 56 1119 1C 41 42 4C 45 28 2F 28 58 52 1F 51 
15 43 51 45 41 BB 52 65 7B 65 61 71 28 13 6F 75 
6E 71 3fl 28 BB 02 52 15 56 28 C8 05 8B 53 61 76 
69 fcE 67 3fl 28 28 88 D£ Ef 73 28 71 6F 6F Efl B8 
54 69 6B 65 3(1 28 BB 51 SF 28 72 65 71 75 72 6E 
28 74 6T 28 flB 28 74 79 7B 65 28 22 45 58 43 51 


I This screen snuus how UED1T PLUS con sieultatieously edit different files ii 
liffcreut nodes. The uord processing file in this uindou is leiinj cditiny uitl 
jord urnij '"id justification enabled. The binary Tile dbuuc Es benty edited ii 
16 byte record node in tuo uiadous - one displays the file in hexftdceiul. th: 
jther in ASCII. Files can be edited and displayed in any desired node. 

. Vnii can also select iio 

Until now, few PC text editors could even begin to handle huge 
mainframe, CD ROM, postscript, plotter output and other multi- 
megabyte files. The new VEDIT PLUS, with its unique virtual 
memory management, handles them all effortlessly. 

Edit in ASCII, EBCDIC or Hexadecimal modes, or split the screen 
for any combination of modes. File modes support DOS text, 
UNIX text, binary and many fixed length record formats. 








An intuitive user interface with drop down menus, hot keys, 
mouse support, optional scroll bars, context sensitive help, point 
and shoot file selection, 1000 level undo and unlimited keystroke 
macros make VEDIT PLUS easy to use, easy to learn. And it can 
emulate the keystrokes of almost any editor you already know. 

Everything in VEDIT PLUS is configurable. The keyboard layout, 
the screen colors, the way control characters, long lines and 
window borders are displayed, and much more, is all configured 
with easy to use menus. 

Confidently order your copy of VEDIT PLUS today; it comes with 
a 30 day money-back guarantee. VEDIT has been the choice of 
100,000 programmers, writers and engineers since 1980. 

VEDIT PLUS - DOS single user license: $185; DOS network 5 
user license: $295; UNIX/XENIX, QNX, FlexOS/IBM 4680 single 
CPU license: $285. Site license pricing is available. 

24-Hour Bulletin Board 

A fully functional demo version of VEDIT PLUS and a shareware 
version of VEDIT Jr. are available on our BBS at 1 -31 3-996-1 304. 

Toll Free: 1-800-45- VEDIT (1-800-458-3348) 
Telephone: (313) 996-1300, Fax: (313) 996-1308 
Mail: P.O. Box 1586, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106 

VEDIT is a registered trademark of Greenview Data, Inc. Brief is a trademark 
of Solution Systems. Sage Professional Editor is a trademark of Intersolv. 

Greenview Data 

Circle 39 on Inquiry Card. 



Add Graphs 

to Spreadsheets 

According to its devel- 
oper, UltraGraphics lets 
users of most spreadsheets 
design sophisticated graphs 
and charts within their ap- 
plication. The add-in pro- 
gram lets you create 3-D 
bar, line, pyramid, and;c,;y,z 
graphs and other charts 
within your spreadsheet. 
Many UltraGraphics charts 
feature unlimited rows and 
value ranges. You can 
stretch and rotate any graph 
you create. You can control 
the colors, sizes, and screen 
positions of your graphs. 
The program labels your 
graphs automatically. 

Intex claims that, in ad- 
dition to being compatible 
with every major spread- 
sheet published in recent 
years, UltraGraphics lets 
you import graphs to word 
processing programs. The 
PC-based program supports 
PIC, PCX, and WMF file 
formats, among others. 
Price: $245. 

Contact: Intex Solutions, 
Inc., 35 Highland Cir., 
Needham, MA 02194, 
(617) 449-6222; fax (617) 
Circle 1 308 o n Inquiry Card. 

£tlii Eilil Type Imatjc Colors Rotate Text Styles Options 

Sales Results foTMClfieT"™"'"" 

Sales „ 

■ P A i. L I 
:: '.;-v; 



You could import this 3-D scatter graph into any spreadsheet 
on the market, according to Intex Solutions. 

Multiple View 
Functions for Sun 
and Windows 

The Windows version of 
AutoVue lets you view, 
print, plot, and manage 
CAD drawing files in such 
formats as AutoCAD DWG, 
HPGL, and Generic CADD. 
You can also view scanned 
raster files. AutoVue-Sun 
lets you view and print over 
a dozen file formats, and you 
can convert files from 

AutoVue's supported formats 
to DXF, HPGL, and other 
file formats. 

Price: Windows version, 
$250; Sun version, $695. 
Contact: Cimmetry Sys- 
tems, Inc., 1430 Massachu- 
setts Ave. , Suite 306, Cam- 
bridge, MA 02138, (800) 
36 1-1 904 or (5 14) 735- 
3219; fax (514) 735-6440. 
Circle 1 309 on Inquiry Card. 

AutoVue lets you open as many windows as your memory 
will allow. 

Capture Your 
Windows Screens 

The latest incarnation of 
Pizazz Plus features a 
Windows screen-capture 
function, which you can use 
to save full-screen or se- 
lected Windows. Pizazz Plus 
3.0 also features conversion 
capabilities for more than 20 
graphics file formats, in- 
cluding PCX and TIF. You 
can print your Pizazz Plus 
images on over 400 printers, 
including the Hewlett-Pack- 
ard DeskJet 500C. 
Price: $149. 

Contact: Application Tech- 
niques, Inc., 10 Lomar Park 
(508) 433-5201; fax (508) 
Circle 1310 on Inquiry Card. 

Typeface Library 
on CD-ROM 

The CD-ROM version of 
Bitstream's Typeface 
Library for the Macintosh 
is available in PostScript 
Type 1 format and includes 
a selection of TrueType 
fonts. The Type Treasury 
disc includes six free type- 
faces and lets you preview 
its 1000-plus typefaces. To 
unlock the typefaces, you 
must purchase access codes 
over the phone. 
Price: CD-ROM, $69; up 
to three typefaces, $49 each; 
four to 10 typefaces, $40 
each; more than 10 type- 
faces, $35 each. 
Contact: Bitstream, Inc., 
215 First St., Cambridge, 
MA 02142, (617) 497- 
6222; fax (617) 868-4732. 
Circle 1311 on Inquiry Card. 

Turn Documents 
into Perfect 

Perfect Presentations 
2.0 lets you create 
charts and graphs from 
within WordPerfect 5.1. You 
can use the Desmond Inter- 
national add-in to design pie, 
bar, line, area, and scatter 
graphs within your WordPer- 
fect documents. Perfect 
Presentations imports data 
from Lotus 1-2-3 work- 
sheet files for direct integra- 
tion within your presenta- 
tion. Perfect Presentations 
works with the DOS ver- 
sion of WordPerfect 5.1. 
Price: $95. 

Contact: Desmond Interna- 
tional, Inc., 99 High St., 
Suite 3001, Boston, MA 
02110, (617) 338-9650; fax 
Circle 1312 on Inquiry Card. 

80 BYTE- MARCH 1992 





You've dreamed about a com- 
puter like this. 

One that would have power 
and display capabilities equal 
to, or greater than, the desktop 
computer youre using now. 

One you could take along to 
all of those different places you 
need to work. 

Oneyou wouldn't need a fur- 
niture dolly to move. 

And here it is. 


Wfah dimensions of 15.4" W x 
10.5"Dx3.3"H(4.1"H with the 
color screen), its small enough to 
fit in a briefcase. 

With a spirited clock speed of 

In addition to a 33 MHz, a power- 

SUSSSSS ful486DXmicrc 

or 200MB hard disk processor, 8K 

internal cache 

and full 32-bit 

architecture, its 

big enough to 

handle all those 

jobs normally 

performed in 
an impressive office building. 

And if a combination like that 
doesn't make theT6400 portable 
better than the desktop computer 
youre currently using, well eat our 
collective hat. 

© \992Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. The Intel Inside logo is a trademark of Intel Corporation. 

The 101-key 

keyboard, connected 

to the CPU by a 

coiled cord, 
can be removed 

from the case. 

This remarkable machine modem slot, as well as built-in 

comes equipped with an internal parallel, serial, mouse and 
1 .44MB, 3Vi f floppy drive and a SuperVGA video ports. 
^^^^^^■1^1 Depending on your partic- 

ular needs, you can choose one 
of two display screens. 

A state-of-the-art active ma- 
trix SuperVGA color display 
withThin FilmTransistor tech- 
nology, to deliver a higher qual- 
ity image than you can get with 
:^^^^ most desktop monitors, and 
§^ capable of displaying 256 
^ simultaneous colors at 

120 or 

640x480 resolution. 
200MB hard disk. Plus 4MB Or a gas plasma display 

RAM, expandable to 20MB. (Try featuring 16 gray scales, 
finding any application that also at 640 x 480 resolu- 

needs more memory than that.) tion, and a 100:1 contrast 

There's also a full-length, IBM- 
compatible, 16-bit expansion slot 
so you can take full advantage 
of your network card, SCSI con- 
troller or any of a myriad of other 
special purpose cards. 

ratio— seven times the 
contrast of standard 
LCD displays, with ten 
times the display speed. 
Both have a diagonal 
measure of 10.4" and 

For even more expandability provide simultaneous 
the T6400 comes complete with viewing capability with external 
a 150-pin expansion port for SuperVGA displays, 

direct input/output To complete the 

to the CPU, enabling ~^=i :i -«•■-—- T6400s amazing 

you to connect stor- \^Bmm mmB amM BB ~ metamorphosis 
age and communi- ^^^^^^SSHBSSBBS f rom desktop to 

cations devices. Plus m ^ p T^T 6 f^! msful l^j it ^ portable, we took 

expandability, including an IdM- *~ 7 

an internal dedicated compatible, 16-bit expansion slot, a 101-key keyboard 

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with full-size keys and key spac- 
ing, separate numeric keypad 
and eight dedicated cursor con- 
trol keys, and nestled it into 
a compact 117 lb. package (12.9 
lbs. with color screen). Then at- 
tached it to the CPU with a 
coiled cord, so you can remove 

. it and use it on your lap (or other 
convenient surface). 

Now, having read all of the 
above, you d probably welcome 
more information on theT6400. 

The more you learn about our 
products the more you'll come to 

Circle 1 31 on Inquiry Card. 

understand thelbshiba philoso- 
phy: that portables are the future 
of personal computing. 

Of course, with the introduc- 
tion of theT6400 portable, its a 
future thats already here. 

In Touch with Tomorrow 




Dadisp 3.0 

for Two 

New Platforms 

Dadisp now runs on the 
Next workstation and on 
Hewlett-Packard's HP 
Apollo 700 workstation. 
Version 3.0 of the scien- 
tific-data-analysis program 
performs mathematical 
problem solving, what-if 
speculation, graphical anal- 
ysis of sampled information, 
conversion of data from 
graphical windows into num- 
bers, and other analytical 

Dadisp performs data ac- 
quisition with A/D boards, 
and the program can ex- 
change data with instruments 
using the IEEE-488 (Hew- 
lett-Packard Interface Bus/ 
general-purpose interface 
bus) protocol. 

Price: Next version, $4495; 
HP Apollo 700 version, 
$895 to $6995. 
Contact: DSP Development 
Corp., 1 Kendall Sq., Cam- 
bridge, MA 02139, (617) 
577-1 133; fax (617) 577- 
Circle 1313 on Inquiry Card. 

For Chico 
Solver, Math 
Is No Problem 

Version 2.3 of Chico 
Solver can process un- 
limited numbers of equa- 
tions within a system, ac- 
cording to the developer, 
and can run up to 100 times 
faster than its predecessor. 
The numerical-modeling 
software lets you build large 
equation systems that include 
multiple files containing 
function definitions, algebra- 
ic equations, or differential 




Dadisp can be used for laboratory research, electronic testing, 
and physiological data analysis. 

You can also automati- 
cally isolate and reorder sep- 
arable equation sets, opti- 
mize any parameters used in 
equations or function defi- 
nitions, and directly enter 
differential equations as a 
means of defining new func- 
tions. Chico Solver now 
provides such features as on- 
screen color controls, more 
detailed result and error mes- 
sages, and graphics options 
that include scaling, labeling, 
and grid lines. 

According to the com- 
pany, Chico Solver has the 
ability to solve equation 
systems faster than larger 
mathematical programs 
such as MathCAD and Math- 
ematica. Applications for 
Chico Solver include the de- 
sign of systems within me- 
chanical, chemical, automo- 
tive, and aerospace in- 
Price: $399. 

Contact: Chico Software 
Co., P.O. Box 5174, Chico, 
CA 95927, (916)342-3279; 
fax (916) 893-1050. 
Circle 1314 on Inquiry Card. 

A High-Speed 
Model Solver 

Diffeq with Fitting, Mi- 
croMath's program for 
performing least-squares 
parameter estimation with 
differential equations, 
saves you time in experimen- 
tation and verification, ac- 
cording to the developer. The 
product provides goodness- 
of-f it statistics and on-line 
graphics to show whether 
or not your results are 

Diffeq with Fitting offers 
eight methods of solving 
models and four plotting 
styles. Least-squares param- 
eter estimation methods in- 
clude Powell's method and 
optional pref itting simplex 

You can import and ex- 
port data between Diffeq and 
Lotus 1-2-3, dBase, ASCII, 
and other data files. The pro- 
gram provides a plot editor 
with axis control, eight fonts, 
and drawing tools. You are 
able to export your charts to 


Please address new product information to New Products Editors, 
BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. Better 
yet, use your modem and mail new product information to the mi- 
crobytes.hw or microbytes.sw conferences on BIX. Please send the 
product description, price, ship date, and an address and telephone 
number where readers can get more information. 

other applications via PCX, 
TIF, WPG, and other file 
Price: $395. 

Contact: MicroMath Scien- 
tific Software, P.O. Box 
21550, Salt Lake City, UT 
84121, (801)943-0290; fax 
Circle 1 31 5 on Inquiry Card. 

Analyze Data 
from Different 

Cross-platform data 
analysis and reporting 
are now available for users 
of Windows, Unix, or Macin- 
tosh systems. CrossTarget 
(formerly called Power 
Search and available only 
for the Mac) lets you merge 
corporate data from dispa- 
rate databases and platforms, 
transform it into a graph or 
spreadsheet-style chart, and 
analyze it. 

You can use CrossTarget 
to merge and analyze up to 
1 million records, including 
sales, statistical, and person- 
nel information, from rela- 
tional and nonrelational data- 

You can purchase the 
program's three modules in- 
dividually or as a group. 
Builder compresses, indexes, 
and stores data; Data Inte- 
grator merges database infor- 
mation for transformation 
by Builder; and the Diver 
tool lets you spontaneously 
examine trends and leads 
throughout your data. 
Price: Stand-alone ver- 
sions, $1000 to $8000; per 
client/server station, $1500 
to $4500. 

Contact: Dimensional In- 
sight, Inc., 99 South Bedford 
St., Burlington, MA 
01803, (617) 229-9111; fax 
Circle 1316 on Inquiry Card. 

84 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

When It Comes 






► See our new products at CeBIT '92! Hall 8 EG, Stand B40 < 

SCSI Host Adapters 

EISA Multi-Channel SCSI-2 Host Adapter (Available to OEMs only) 

► Five SCSI-2 (fast and wide) channels- each channel supports 
up to 20 MB/s peak throughput 

► Intel i960CA RISC processor; up to 64MB of write-back cache 

► Striping with built-in support for various RAID levels 

► Disconnect/reconnect, scatter/gather, command queuing, 
duplexing, mirroring and spanning 

► Fault tolerance features include automatic drive failure 
detection, hot replacement and transparent rebuild 


EISA SCSI-2 Host Adapter 

► Fast SCSI-2 providing lOMB/s peak throughput 

► EISA bus-master transfer rates up to 33MB/s 

► Support for all popular SCSI devices 

► Disconnect/reconnect, scatter/gather, synchronous drive 
support, duplexing and mirroring 

► DOS, OS/2, Unix, NetWare 

EISA SCSI Host Adapter 

► Intel 80376; up to 8MB 

► EISA bus-master trans- 
fer rate up to 33MB/s 

► Disconnect/reconnect, 
scatter/gather, mirror- 
ing, duplexing and tape 

► DOS, OS/2, UNIX, 
SCO UNIX, NetWare, 
Windows 3.0 

Multiprocessing System 

► 64-bit 26ZMB/s My symmetric 
multiprocessing bus 

► Four 486 50MHz CPUs with 
up to 512KB write-back cache 

► EISA bus for 
high-performance I/O 

► Up to 512MB of ECC memoiy 

► Fully scalable and field 

► All EISA peripherals available 
from Mylex; Mylex BIOS 

► UNIX V4, Novell NetWare 
286/386, SCO MPX, MS-DOS, 
Windows 3.0 and LAN 
Manager supported 

Available Q2, 1992 

CPU Board 

Multiprocessor Interrupt Controller 

EISA Bus Interface Backplane 

ECC Memory Controller 

System Boards 

EISA 486 System Board 

► 486DX 33/50MHz 

► 14.5 MIPS performance 

► 128KB of external 
write-back cache 

► 8 EISA bus slots 

► Integrated I/O- IDE, 
floppy, parallel, serial 
ana PS2 mouse ports 

► Weitek 4167 socket 

► Surface mount design 

► Mylex BIOS 

ISA 486 System Board 

► 486DX 33/50MHz 

► 14.9 MIPS performance 

► 64 or 256KB of external 
write-back cache 

► 7 ISA bus slots 

► On-boardl/O-IDE, 
floppy, parallel and 
two serial ports 

►Weitek4167 socket 

► Surface mount design 

► Mylex BIOS 



* Available March, 1992 
** Available Q2, 1992 

Mylex Has You 
Covered Worldwide. 

For more information on Mylex products, please call your closest distributor 
or contact us at 1-800-77-MYLEX or 1-510-796-6100. Or, fax the domestic sales 
department at 1-510-745-8016 and international sales at 1-510-745-7521. 

U.S. Distributors 

Ingram/Micro D 

Tel: 1-800-456-8000 
Tel: 1-800-637-4735 


Sidus Systems, Inc. 

► Thornhill, Ontario 
Tel: 416-882-1600 
Fax: 416-882-2429 

► Ottawa, Ontario 
Tel: 613-749-2443 
Fax: 613-749-3850 

► Vancouver, BC 
Tel: 604-322-1711 
Fax: 604-322-1722 

► St. Laurent, Quebec 
Tel: 514-731-9050 
Fax: 514-731-1069 

New Zealand 

Computa Vision 

► Melbourne 

Tel: 613-877-2700 
Fax: 613-877-2614 

► Sydney 

Tel: 612-957-3477 
Fax: 612-957-2866 

Lingo Computer 

Systems Ltd. 
Tel: 649-3079-025 
Fax: 649-3079-026 

IPC New Zealand 
Tel: 649-79-7052 
Fax: 649-3076-412 




Tel: 43-1-330-7941 
Fax: 43-1-330-79412 


Celem Computers 
Tel: 32-41-67-64-34 
Fax: 32-41-67-65-15 

Datatech-S. Service 

Tel: 32-3-326-32-37 
Fax: 32-3-326-32-96 


Delfi Technology A/S 

Tel: 45-44-99-09-00 
Fax: 45-44-99-09-46 


Tel: 358-0-804-611 
Fax: 358-0-803-6617 


Tel: 33-1-30-21-50-69 
Fax: 33-1-30-21-17-86 

Tel: 33-1-69-07-61-99 
Fax: 33-1-69-07-82-23 

Polywell Computers 
Tel: 33-1-49-63-32-88 
Fax: 33-1-48-61-18-26 


Interquad Computer 
Tel: 49-6104-6999-0 
Fax: 49-6104-6558-2 

Lobster Computer 
Tel: 49-30-618-40-80 
Fax: 49-30-618-80-95 

Geva Datentechnik Gmbh 
Tel: 49-2404-5500-0 
Fax: 49-2404-5500-99 


Digital Technology 

Tel: 30-1-9514-944 
Fax: 30-1-956-7631 


Tel: 36-1-182-0385 
Fax: 36-1-182-0385 


Jen Elettronica 

Tel: 39-733-224-012 
Fax: 39-733-224-035 


Jotronics A/S 

Tel: 47-4-66-37-91 
Fax: 47-4-66-66-40 

Plus Data 

Tel: 47-4-55-50-22 
Fax: 47-4-55-21-61 


Galileo IngenieriaY 

Tel: 34-22-200-200 
Fax: 34-22-202-882 



Argenturer AB 
Tel: 46-418-500-15 
Fax: 46-418-504-72 

Tel: 46-8-32-26-09 
Fax: 46-8-31-56-19 


Paradigm Computer 

Tel: 41-56-95-15-55 
Fax: 41-56-95-15-05 

The Netherlands: 

Geveke Electronics 
Tel: 31-20-62-31-740 
Fax: 31-20-586-1568 


Computers B.V. 
Tel: 31-15-141-979 
Fax: 31-15-136-401 

United Kingdom: 

Tel: 44-203-715-858 
Fax: 44-203-714-462 

Ideal Hardware 
Tel: 44-81-390-1211 
Fax: 44-81-399-4382 

Westbase Technology 
Tel: 44-291-430-567 
Fax: 44-291-430-484 


Drzavna Zalozba 

Tel: 38-61-211-626 
Fax: 38-61-215-675 
NIL Systems Integration 

Tel: 38-61-372-809 
Fax: 38-61-372-809 

The Middle East 


Metra Computers 

Tel: 202-3474783 

Fax: 202-3610475 

Information Center 
Kanoon Inf ormtic 

Tel: 98-21-241326 

Fax: 98-21-228837 
Saudi Arabia: 
Electrical and Electronic 
Contracting Co. 

Tel: 966-2-6690221 

Fax: 966-2-6690225 
Karma Bilgisayar Sanayi 

Tel: 90-1-1740068 

Fax: 90-1-1730535 

Pacific Rim 

Hong Kong: 

Madihurst Limited 

Tel: 852-529-0356 
Fax: 852-866-2691 

Quest Computer 
Tel: 852-548-9129 
Fax: 852-858-0045 


Harsper Technology, Inc. 
Tel: 822-578-2477 
Fax: 822-578-6955 


Pet Computers Service 

Tel: 65-296-7222 
Fax: 65-296-1293 

South America 


Centro Instrumental 

Tel: 54-41-66616 
Fax: 54-41-24-4763 


Quantum Computadores 

Tel: 55-11-212-4644 
Fax: 55-11-212-2934 

Mylex Corporation 

34551 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, CA 94555-3607 

© 1992, Mylex Corporation. Specifications subject to change without notice. The Intel Inside Logo 
is a trademark of Intel Corporation.All trademarks are the property of their respective holders. 

Circle 264 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 265). 


Graphics Controllers 

EISA Graphics Controller 

► TI3402040MHz 
graphics processor 

► 1600x1200 non- 
interlaced resolution 

► 8 bit-planes for 256 
simultaneous colors 

► TIGA 2.05 compatibility 

► VGAon-board 

► Drivers for AutoCAD, 
X-Window and 
Windows 3.0 



EISA Graphics Controller 

► TI34020 32MHz 
graphics processor 

► 1280x1024 non- 
interlaced resolution 

► 8 bit-planes for 256 
simultaneous colors 

► TIGA 2.05 compatibility 

► VGAon-board* 

► Drivers for AutoCAD, 
X-Windo w and 
Windows 3.0 




■-,.. ■-■ ■ J ^r-v.. ,. s :.:::...v- 

l EEI53 




EISA Graphics Accelerator 

► S3 graphics accelerator 

► EISA bus data transfers 

► 1280 x 960 x 16 or 1024 x 768 x 256 resolution 

► 100% VGA compatible 

► Drivers for Windows 3.0, GEM 3.1, Ventura, 
AutoCAD and many more 


ISA Graphics Accelerator 

► S3 graphics accelerator 

► ISA bus data transfers 

► 1024 x 768 x 256 resolution 

► 100% VGA compatible 

► Drivers for Windows 3.0, 
GEM 3.1, Ventura, AutoCAD 
and many more 

Disk Array Subsystem 



► Fastest disk array subsystem 
on the market— includes disk 
array enclosure, controller, 
host adapter and software 

► Five SCSI-2 (fast and wide) 
channels— each channel 
supports up to 20MB/s peak 

► EISA host adapter uses Intel 
i960CA 32-bit RISC processor 

► Up to 64MB of write-back 

► Modular support for single- 
ended or differential SCSI 

► Flash EPROMs for easy 
firmware field upgrades 

► Striping with built-in support 
for various RAID levels 

► Disconnect/reconnect with 
full multi-threading, 
scatter/gather, command 
queuing, duplexing, mirroring 
and spanning 

► Fault tolerance features in- 
clude automatic drive failure 
detection, hot replacement 
and transparent rebuild 

Available March, 1992 

■ ftV.IM 

DAC960 Host Adapter 

Ethernet LAN Adapters 


Multi-Channel Ethernet LAN Adapter" 

► Four lOBase-T Ethernet ports 

► Four Intel 82596 32-bit Network Interface Controllers (NIC) 

► 256KB dual-ported SRAM (64KB per NIC) 

► Intel 82355 EISA bus-master interface controller 

► Up to 16 ports per host with four LME596 adapters 

► Supports Novell NetWare 3.11, UNIX TCP/IP and NDIS 

EISA Ethernet LAN Adapter 

► DP8390 Network Interface 

► EISA shared-memory transfer 
rates up to 16MB/s 

► Support for both thick- and 
thin-Ethernet interfaces 

► Novell certified 

► Supports Novell NetWare 
2.15, 2.2, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.11, 

ISA Ethernet LAN Adapter 

► DP8390 Network Interface 

► Shared-memory transfer 
rates up to 2MB/s 

► Support for both thick- and 
thin-Ethernet interfaces 

► Supports Novell NetWare 
2.15, 3.0, and 3.1 and UNIX 




32-bit Windows 

The MetaWare Windows 
Application Develop- 
ment Kit lets you develop, 
debug, and run true 32-bit 
Windows applications. The 
ADK provides binder and 
make utilities, a 32-bit dy- 
namic-link-library super- 
visor, MetaWare' s Win- 
dows Supervisor, a 
debugger, a memory-con- 
figuration utility, and 32-bit 
libraries and header files. 
MetaWare reports that you 
can port 16-bit Windows 
applications without using a 
DOS extender. 

The kit's user interface 
includes on-line help, re- 
sizable windows, scroll 
bars, pop-up and pull-down 
menus, a source window, 
and a control window. In ad- 
dition to MetaWare 's High 
C compiler, the ADK re- 
quires the Microsoft Win- 
dows Software Development 
Kit for application 
Price: $495 ; with High C 
compiler and source-level de- 
bugger, $1095 and up. 
Contact: MetaWare, Inc., 
2161 Delaware Ave. , Santa 
Cruz, CA 95060, (408) 
429-6382; fax (408) 429- 
Circle 1 003 on Inquiry Card. 

and Port 
CAD Programs 

Easier and less-expen- 
sive development of 
Windows-based CAD appli- 
cations is the goal of CAD- 
vance 5.0. The program's 
CADvance Development In- 
terface (CDI) lets you ac- 
cess the CADvance PC-CAD 
graphics and database rou- 
tines as Windows dynamic 
link libraries. Once you de- 

According to Meta Ware, you can use its debugger to debug 
32-bit applications on your development machine without 
using an extra terminal or computer. 

velop your applications in the 
CADvance for Windows en- 
vironment, you can port 
them to other Windows- 
based CAD platforms. 

According to the devel- 
oper, outside applications 
written in a standard Win- 
dows-supported language run 
with CADvance. The devel- 
opment tool can handle 
scanned images and vector 
information for linking with 
raster-based applications. 
CADvance's Visual Pro- 
gramming facility lets you 
build subroutines that call 
more complex CDI pro- 
grams and generate CDI 
code. CADvance supports 
Windows' Object Linking 
and Embedding and Dy- 
namic Data Exchange capa- 
bilities, and it provides two- 
way database links using 
standard database-file and 
Structured Query Language 

CADvance 5.0 requires 
Borland's Quick C for Win- 
dows programming 
Price: $995. 
Contact: ISICAD, Inc., 
1920 West Corporate Way, 
P.O. Box 61022, Anaheim, 
CA 92803, (714)533-8910; 
fax (714) 533-8642. 
Circle 1002 on Inquiry Card. 

A Windows 



Version 2.60 of FTN77 
FORTRAN compilers 
for 386- and 486-based PCs 
features a host of improve- 
ments. Most notable is 
FTN77's compatibility with 
Windows; the compiler will 
run under Windows in en- 
hanced mode. FTN77 now 
features make and touch util- 
ities, and the new text-win- 
dowing routines let you 
create drop shadows, title 
windows, and other effects in 
graphics mode. 
Price: 386 version, $1295; 
486 version, $1525. 
Contact: OTG Systems, 
Inc., Suite 300, Rts. 106 and 
374, P.O. Box 239, Clif- 
ford, PA 18413, (717) 222- 
9 100; fax (7 17) 222-9 103. 
Circle 1001 on Inquiry Card. 

Edit Code 
Through Windows 

Designed from its incep- 
tion to run efficiently in 
the Windows environment, 
Codewright lets Windows 
programmers edit code 
files without switching to 
DOS. According to its de- 
veloper, Codewright' s per- 
formance equals, and 
sometimes excels, the perfor- 
mance of DOS-based 

The program provides 
standard program-editing 
features (e.g., unlimited 
file and line sizes, unlimited 
undo and redo of changes, 
and multiple file/multiple 
window editing). Code- 
wright also lets you compile, 
line, and debug your target 
program without leaving the 
editor. You can select and 
display or hide portions of 
the file text, and Code- 
wright lets you highlight 
parts of the file you're edit- 
ing in user-specified color 
for easy detection. 

You can configure Code- 
wright to meet your own 
preferences. The program's 
.INI file lets you select 
settings each time you run 
the file. For workgroups, you 
can configure Codewright 
differently for specific peo- 
ple or projects. 

Codewright includes 
keymaps for Common User 
Access-compliant and 
Brief -compatible operation. 
You can modify the key- 
maps provided, or you can 
assign your own. 
Price: $249. 
Contact: PremiaCorp., 
1075 Northwest Murray 
Blvd., Suite 268, Portland, 
OR 97229, (800) 547-9902 
or (503) 647-9902; fax 
(503) 647-5423. 
Circle 1 000 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 92PC-1 


Not Just for 
Macs Anymore 

Nearly identical to its 
Macintosh counterpart, 
MacDraft for Windows pro- 
vides mainstream drawing 
and drafting tools with a 
focus on ease of use. The 
program is geared toward 
technical users who want to 
focus on their design 
without having to learn a 
great deal about how the 
software works. 

When drawing in Mac- 
Draft for Windows, your 
first task is to set a scale in 
either metric or English mea- 
surement units. Once 
you've defined your scale, 
the program keeps track of 
all component measure- 
ments, including angles, 
and lets you display line mea- 
surements at the line or in a 
legend. You can use the pro- 
gram's layering capabilities 
to create drawings in differ- 
ent scales and merge the 
layers to show areas of detail. 
Other drawing features in- 
clude support for Bezier 
curves and splines, and you 
can create elliptical arcs with 
two keystrokes. You can 
also create and place circles 
in relation to three known 
points of intersection. 

According to the develop- 
er, you can transfer your 
MacDraft files between 
Mac and Windows operating 
Price: $495. 

Contact: Innovative Data 
Design, Inc., 2280 A Bates 
Ave., Suite A, Concord, CA 
94520, (510) 680-6818; fax 
Circle 1004 on Inquiry Card. 



Diawn By, ICiSSSg 

As you alter your MacDraft for Windows drawings, the 
program updates the dimension lines, area volumes, and angle 

Analyze Your 



The ECP Enhanced 
Component Stress Anal- 
ysis program, an add-on to 
Powertronic's Reliability 
Prediction program, ana- 
lyzes electronic, electrical, 
and electromechanical 
products in accordance with 
requirements outlined in 
NASA, Air Force, Naval Air 
Force, and Department of 
Defense documentation. ECP 
lets you lower the levels of 
acceptable equipment stress 
to improve reliability. You 
might perform this reduction 
process, known as derating, 
to establish different equip- 
ment-reliability require- 
ments in different situations. 

You can generate reports 
that include your equipment 
data and calculations (e.g., 
derated stress or tempera- 
ture, worst-case stress, and 
minimum rating required). 
ECP features pull-down 
menus and context-sensitive 
help. You must use the Reli- 
ability Prediction program in 
conjunction with ECP. 

Price: $1000. 
Contact: Powertronic Sys- 
tems, Inc., P.O. Box 29109, 
New Orleans, LA 70189, 
(504) 254-0383; fax (504) 
Circle 1006 on Inquiry Card. 


Now in a Window 

near You 

The release of ISICA D ' s 
CADvance for Windows 
brings you a design product 
rich in information-sharing 
tools. CADvance merges 
Windows features (e.g., Dy- 
namic Data Exchange and 
Object Linking and Embed- 
ding) with the program's 
new open development archi- 
tecture, which records ac- 
tivities such as drawing func- 
tions and automatically 
generates compilable code. 
CADvance supports bit- 
map and scanned images, 
and it lets you combine ras- 
ter and vector information 
within a single drawing. 
According to ISICAD, the 

Windows version of the pro- 
gram retains speeds equal to 
those of DOS-based CAD 
Price: $3495. 
Contact: ISICAD, Inc., 
1920 West Corporate Way, 
P.O. Box 61022, Anaheim, 
CA 92803, (714)533-8910; 
fax (714) 533-8642. 
Circle 1005 on Inquiry Card. 


Contour Maps 
from Data Points 

With Landview, you 
can turn 3-D coordi- 
nates into contour maps 
with as few as two com- 
mands. The Macintosh pro- 
gram uses the triangulated- 
irregular-network method 
of linearly interpolating im- 
ported data points into con- 
tour lines. You can import 
data from Landesign 
spreadsheet and other ASCII- 
based CAD programs and 
use that data as coordinate 
information. Once you've 
designed a contour map, you 
can export it as a PICT file 
for use in CAD applications. 

Landview lets you con- 
trol contour intervals and 
multiples and the base and 
highest contour values. You 
can display point and line 
labels with Northing, East- 
ing, and elevation (x, y, z) 
orientation. Landview in- 
cludes a zoom function, 
and it supports System 7.0 
Balloon Help. According to 
its developer, future versions 
of the program will support 
volume calculations and ter- 
rain modeling. 
Price: $195 and up, de- 
pending on the config- 

Contact: Compuneering, 
Inc., 113 McCabe Crescent, 
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada 
L4J2S6, (416) 738-4601; fax 
Circle 1 007 on Inquiry Card. 

92PC-2 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Just OK. Okidata OK! 

HP LaserJet® IIP+ 




Printhead warranty: 1 year 

Conventional laser printhead 

14 fonts, 2 typefaces 

70-sheet paper tray 

Curved paper path 

Height: 8K" 

Okidata OL400 

Printhead warranty: 5 years 

Okidata-built LED printhead 

(no moving parts) 

17 fonts, 4 typefaces 

Fully compatible with HP 

Series II software emulation 

200-sheet paper tray 

Straight-line paper path - 

feeds envelopes, labels, 

heavy stock without jamming 

Low profile: 5 x /i 

At $999 list, there's no lower priced 
page printer on the market than the 
Okidata OL400.*Yet it offers many 
features you won't find on the $1249 
LaserJet IIP+. 

Our solid-state LED printhead, for 
example, has no moving parts. It's so 
reliable, it comes with a 5-year warran- 
ty - longest in the industry (plus 1 year 
parts and labor on the printer itself). 

Okidata's simpler printhead costs 
less to manufacture, and results in a 

simpler design overall - a major rea- 
son for the OL400's low cost. It also 
comes with more typefaces and fonts, 
and a high-capacity paper tray - all 
standard. And unlike the LaserJet, 
Okidata gives you your choice of par- 
allel or serial interface. 

And the OL400 has one more 
unique feature-the Okidata OK! It's 
our promise that every printer we sell 
will deliver not merely acceptable 
performance and good value, but 

outstanding performance and excep- 
tional value. 

So before you settle for a page 
printer that's merely OK, visit your au- 
thorized Okidata 
dealer and ask about 
the printer that's 
Okidata OK!-the 
Okidata OL400. 

For further infor- 
mation, please call 

We don't just design it to work. We design it to work wonders; 

'Manufaciwer'ssuggcstcd retail price. Dealer prices may vary. Ill 1 and LaserJet are Reg. I'M of the i levilcii Packard Corporation. I'.C Marine, 6/I.W) issue. Okidata isa Reg. T.M. and OkidatatK! is a T.M.of OKI 
' Electric IndusiryCo., LTD. "We don'tjusr design it [»»ork.\Yc design ittowurk wonders" isa'l'.M. ufOKI America Inc. 

Circle 564 on Inquiry Card. 



for DOS 

The developer of the 
atOnce accounting pack- 
age for Macintosh systems 
now offers a DOS version of 
that program. Teknon Ac- 
counting, nearly identical to 
its Mac counterpart, fea- 
tures a graphical Open Look/ 
Mac windowed interface. 

Teknon Accounting pro- 
vides general-ledger, ac- 
counts-receivable, ac- 
counts-payable, custom- 
financial-report, custom- 
form, budgeting, billing, and 
payroll modules. As you 
enter data into one module, 
all modules are updated in- 
stantly. You can work with an 
unlimited number of ac- 
counts, transactions, custom- 
ers, and employees. 

Teknon Accounting 

1 6/L | A/R | A/P 



-ry's Building Supplies , Inc. 


Setup G/L flc 


Print Journal 


Customer Inquiry 

■ LHFiH Bilnon's Roofing 
jCflLS CaMn & Chat's Plumbing 

; E) 

Enter Invoices - Page 1 

Jit -X: Landscaping 

|NcHt Page ] 1 Reset | 


4512 N. 44th St. 
Ph«nix, hi 35240 

Ship to 


Invoice Ho. |42 \ Invoice bate f 2/26/95 1 G/L P»rt»d | 02-199^ 

Due Dat* J 3/28/95J 
* Units U*m ID fc Item* 


T*s 9! 




-Customer Type 
<§) Regular 
O Occasional 

Sale Type-, 
<S> Credit 
6 Cash 

Extension Total 

Sales Tax 

Teknon Accounting 's interface matches its Mac counterpart 's. 

Price: $149. 
Contact: Teknon Corp., 
8603 East Royal Palm Rd. , 
Scottsdale, AZ 85258, 

(800) 899-0876 or (602) 596- 
1500; fax (602) 483-8293. 
Circle 1024 on Inquiry Card. 

MIS Offers 
New Product 
for DOS 

Personal, an accounting 
package geared toward 
individuals and small busi- 
nesses, consists of checkbook 
and general-ledger func- 
tions. The checkbook func- 
tions maintain unlimited 
bank accounts and provide 
check-writing, check-regis- 
ter, and deposit tools. The 
general-ledger functions 
produce financial statements, 
audit trails, and journals, 
and they perform automatic 
updating of account data. 
Price: $29.95. 
Contact: Management In- 
formation Software, Inc . , 
3301 Gandy Blvd., Tampa, 
FL 33611, (813) 832-3449; 
fax (813) 831-1311. 
Circle 1 023 on Inquiry Card. 

Breaking into WINDOWS 

has Never Been Easier 

Introducing WinTRAN™, the object-oriented Windows™ development 
environment that lets you manipulate named visual objects instead of 
windows. Applications developed with WinTRAN contain from one half 
to one tenth the lines of code of Windows applications developed with 
other methods. And, WinTRAN applications are written in standard 
programming languages such as C, C++, or Pascal. Best yet, Windows 
applications developed with WinTRAN can be ported to other GUI 
environments such as OSF/Motif without change to user interface 
descriptions or code. Yes, its never been easier to break into Windows. 

Call today for more information 1-800-257-4888 


2483 Old Middlefield Way, Suite 224, Mountain View CA 94043 

Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. WinTRAN is a trademark of Guideware Corporation. 

92PC-4 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Circle 565 on Inquiry Card. 

386SX/25 SuperVGA 

105MB Hard Drive, 2MB RAM, SVGA, Dual Floppy 

80386SX 25MHz CPU 

2MB RAM-Expandable to 16MB 

14" SuperVGA Color Monitor, .28mm dot 

512K Super VGA Card 

1.2MB and 1.44MB Floppy Disk Drives 

105MB IDE Hard Drive, 19ms 

Desktop StyleCase, 101 Keyboard 

220W Switching Power Supply 

Serial, Parallel, and Game Ports 

Full I Year Limited Warranty-Parts and Labor 

$ 12 95.oo 

286 and 386 SX 

42MB Hard Drive, 1MB RAM, Mono Monitor 

1 MB RAM-Exp. to 4MB(286) or 8MB(SX) 

1 2" Monochrome TTL Monitor, 720x348 res. 

MonoGraphic Card, Hercules Compatible 

1 .2MB Floppy Disk Drive 

42MB IDE Hard Drive, 28ms 

Desktop Style Case, 220W Switching PS 

Serial, Parallel, and Game Ports 

Full I Year Limited Warranty-Parts and Labor 

^ 386SX/20 286/12 

$ 845. 00 $ 645. 00 


$ 795 

14" SuperVGA, 512K VRAM add $350 
(\(\ BOMB Hard Drive, 19ms add$100 
"" 120MB Hard Drive, 19ms add $200 

Memory Upgrade (per MB) add $65 

New! from 


Mpact 386SX&0 

Notebook Computer 

$1750. 00 

□ Compact 10"xl2"x2", 7 pounds 

□ 60MB Hard Drive, 19ms access time 
a 1MB RAM, expandable to 5MB 

□ 10" VGA LCD Display, 32 Grayscale 

□ 16Bit VGA, 512 K Video RAM 
Q 1.44MB 3 1/2" Internal Floppy 

□ Serial/ Parallel/ Ext. Video Ports 

Q 3 Hour Battery, 50/60Hz AC Power 

486/33 Features 

80486 33MHZ 32 bit INTEL CPU 

4MB RAM-Expandable to 32MB 

Phoenix BIOS, 256K Static RAM Cache 

8 Expansion Slots (ISA 16 bit) 

14" SuperVGA Color Monitor, 1024x768, 28nun dot 

1MB VGA Card, resolves 1024x768 at 256 colors 

1.2 and 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drives 

120MB IDE Hard Drive, 19ms 

Desktop Style Case (Tower Option Available) 

220W Switching Power Supply 

Serial, Parallel, and Game Ports 

MS-DOS 5.0, Serial Mouse included 

Full 1 Year Limited Warranty-Parts and Labor 

EISA System, 32 bit Bus add $750 

(EISA has 7 32-bit slots, 1 16-bit slot) 
Non-interlaced Video(.28 dot) add $90 
Sony 1304 (Nl at .25 dot) add $450 

200MB IDE (19ms) add$250 

336MB ESDI (16ms) add $1150 

760MB ESDI (14ms) add $1950 

ESDI/EISA 32-bit Controller add $795 

SHOPPr!/R S ADVISORY- If you're finding yourself stuck in the confusing forest of computer dealers, 
you won't find many that can claim: 1) A Large National Customer Base, 2) Major Corporate Clients, 3) Retail/ 
Mail Order and Wholesale business, 4) An Established Tradition of Customer Support. But WE CAN! 

Since 1 984, we continue our commitment to providing the highest quality components and service at the best price. 

Stay on the cutting edge with Lucky Star International! 

All LSI Professional Systems Are FCC Certified. 

386/33 Power System 

120MB Hard Drive, 4MB RAM, SuperVGA 

80386 33MHZ 32 bit CPU 

4MB RAM-Expandable to 32MB 

128K High Speed Static RAM Cache 

14" SuperVGA Color Monitor, 1024x768 (.28 dot) 

1MB Super VGA Card, 1024x768 at 256 colors 

1.2 and 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drives 

120MB IDE Hard Drive, 19ms 

Desktop Style Case 

220W Switching Power Supply 

Serial, Parallel, and Game Ports 

MS-DOS 5.0, Serial Mouse included 

Full 1 Year Limited Warranty-Parts/Labor 

Price Includes 

Shipping in 

Continental U.S. 

$1795. 00 

add $350 
Logitech Mouse and Windows 3.0 only $75 with System 

Non-interlaced SVGA, .25mm dot (Sony tube) 
17" Non-interlaced SVGA, .28mm dot 
20" Non-Interlaced SVGA 

Locations Nationwide - Quality Service and Support Since 1984 


Retail Hours 

Mon-Sat 9am-6pm 

Eastern/Central/Pacific Time 

Sunday Noon-5pm 

Tukwila, WA 

Location ONLY 

No Credit Card Surcharge 

A "OlJIJ"l/l3l3"00^0 (214)437-3251 FAX 

Hours 9am-6pm 


Central Time 




1701 Greenville Ave. #602 2132 N. Collins 

Richardson, TX 75081 


4151 BeltlineRd.#120 
Addison, TX 75244 


Arlington, TX 760 1 1 


Houston, TX 77077 



10773 SW Bvtn.-Hills. Hwy 14220 NE 20th #D 

Beaverton, OR 97005 


1 7338 Southcenter Pkwy. 
Tukwila,WA 98188 


Copyright 1992 Lucky Computer Company. Lucky Star International. MS-EWS, Intel. Logitech, Micronics. Sony, View sonic, Conner. Teac. and Micrc 

re trademarks of their respective companies. / 

Bellevue, WA 98007 



5939 Jimmy Carter Blvd. 
Norcross, GA 30071 


Circle 562 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 563). 



Share Mac 
and Windows 
Data with GQL 

The Graphical Query 
Language line of ad-hoc 
Structured Query Language 
database query-and-reporting 
tools for Macintosh systems 
now branches out to Win- 
dows. You can develop your 
own data-analysis and re- 
porting environments using 
the program's point-and- 
click WYSIWYG interface. 

GQL for Windows lets 
Windows and Mac users 
share data from SQL data- 
bases. Optional administra- 
tive modules of GQL for 
Windows let select users de- 
velop query environments, 
perform data entry, and 
create new databases. 
Price: User version, $350; 
administrative modules, 

File Edit Query Results Layout Report Host mindotu Mail 

♦USrt Sales Information* 

| GQL Version 3jP fc 

* customer pia«d 

: -, r%& ..,...■ 

assigned lo 

et*el. 6,20 Pfl Tue, tla 

•■IJBlc-oair jU 

fli Ut) «wour>t j 
J2J450 LC'l 

3J 8oise $6622.16 

^ Chicago | $39269 jg 

111 eg torn Region 

Western Region 

2> ? jW 

Customer List 

[sales by ciiy] 

Sales by 


[?) | llimtT 

[f) | ftddresa'T 

ffl l AJdre«T" 


P ^ State 

Function Qualify Group Sort 

GQL lets you store frequently used queries as Executive 
Buttons, which let you access information with automatic 
report generation, charts, data analysis, and integration with 
other applications. 

$450 and up. 

Contact: Andyne Comput- 
ing, Ltd., 552 Princess St., 
Second Floor, Kingston, 

Ontario, Canada K7L 1C7, 

(613) 548-4355; fax (613) 


Circle 1030 on Inquiry Card. 

Novice and 
Pro Tools 

DataEase Personal for 
DOS provides a menu- 
driven interface, the Query- 
By-Example reporting facil- 
ity, and other functions for 
developing applications. 

DataEase 4.5 lets profes- 
sional users migrate applica- 
tions to an on-line distrib- 
uted database environment. 
Version 4.5 runs OS/2 and 
DOS, and it lets you add cli- 
ent-server access to multi- 
ple Structured Query Lan- 
guage database engines. 
Price: DataEase Personal, 
$99; DataEase 4.5, $795; 
SQL Connect, $495. 
Contact: DataEase Interna- 
tional, Inc., 7 Cambridge 
Dr., Trumbull, CT 06611, 
(800) 243-5 123 or (203) 374- 
8000; fax (203) 365-2317. 
Circle 1 029 on Inquiry Card. 


Let Gpf write the GUI you design 

Using the powerful point and click visual programming environment of Gpf*, you can prototype, test 
and generate a complete OS/2 PM GUI in a few hours or days rather than the weeks or months 
required to hand code the same design. Even a relatively simple GUI can require writing thousands 
of lines of code, but with Gpf you simply draw your user interface on the screen. The integrated 
dialogue editor of Gpf permits actions and context sensitive help to be linked to controls as you 
create them, Gpf then generates error free ANSI C complete with embedded SQL statements. 

Gpf is optimized to take full advantage of OS/2 PM, the most powerful and robust GUI system 
available. Since Gpf code directly accesses the PM API, there is no run time module to distribute 
with your application and no added overhead or royalties. 

Gpf keeps the entire design definition in one file. This means single point maintenance for easy 
update and archiving. From this file Gpf generates the C source file as well as .H, .RC, .IPF, DEF, 
.IDS, .MAK, etc.. 

Gpf supports: 

• Simple and direct linkage of the 
interface to program logic, built in or 
user defined functions. 

• Direct association of help screes with 
controls, and complete integration into 
the PM Help Presentation Facility. 

• Flexible use of Presentation objects 
(fonts, colors, etc.) with controls and 
windows (client area and frame). 

Try us out. 

Order Gpf today for just $995." 

Call Gpf Systems Inc. at: 

(203) 873-3300 or (800) 831-0017 -fax (203) 873 

P.O. Box 414, 30 Falls Rd., Moodus, CT 06469 

• Simple inclusion of bitmaps for use on 
About screens, user buttons, and 
menu or pulldown entries. 

• Automatic embedded SQL statements to 
read OS/2 DataBase Manager tables, 
directly into combo or list boxes. 

■ Multi-thread programming. 

• Multiple source file generation. 

• Automatic creation of controls that scale 
with window size. 

• Inclusion of user defined controls 

3302. Free demo software available 

* GUI Programming Facility 

92PC-6 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Circle 566 on Inquiry Card. 


Pro and Personal 
Versions of 
RapidTax for PC 

RapidTax Professional 
is geared to getting the 
professional accountant 
through tax season quickly 
and easily. You can load 
any form with a single key- 
stroke and share data 
among forms, schedules, and 
state returns. RapidTax fea- 
tures a what-if form-filling 
capability; an auto-save fea- 
ture; an audit detector; an on- 
line manual; and a client 
organizer, billing module, 
and checklist. You can re- 
ceive RapidTax program up- 
dates and technical support 
via the included communica- 
tion software and your mo- 
dem. DacEasy offers elec- 
tronic filing software, 23 
state modules, and Refund 
Anticipation Loan 

The personal version of 
RapidTax lets you choose be- 
tween an interview style of 
data entry or a direct-form 
style of entry. The program 
offers time- and money-sav- 
ing tax tips and a built-in 
tutorial. State modules are 
available from DacEasy. 
Price: Professional version, 
$699.95; professional- ver- 
sion state modules, $199 
each; personal version, 
$49.95; personal- version 
state modules, $29.95 each. 
Contact: DacEasy, Inc., 
17950 Preston Rd., Suite 
800, Dallas, TX 75252, 
(800) 877-8088; fax (214) 
Circle 101 1 on Inquiry Card. 

Federal and 
State Preparation 
for the PC 

The 1991 version of Per- 
sonal Tax Edge lets you 
work on multiple tax forms 
simultaneously. The pro- 
gram's windowing capabil- 


oTo r5-LMJp F6-Bel F7-Preu FO-Next re-Load riB-feca 

Uayes, salaries, tips, etc. 

i^v-hhi , <ttr;„.f m :■ • 



lax ! 













Alt ouer ! 




received wore than $4BB in dividend incone, 
3 ou Must conplete Schedule B. If you received 
dividend incone of $188 or iess you nay report it 
here uithout completing Schedule B. Vou should 
enter an anoint here ONLY if you have dividend 
incone of $488 or LESS. If Schedule B is filed, 
these anoints will be set by Schedule B. 

IIS 38? 


RapidTax Personal 's interview approach walks you through 
your return step-by-step and steers you away from answering 
unnecessary questions. 

ity lets you work on one form 
and switch among others as 
you wish. Tax Edge's cross- 
reference feature shows you 
the list of forms and subtotals 
that make up the total of a 
specific line item. 

The DOS-based program 
is a two-part set that consists 
of planning and final-filing 
versions. State return mod- 
ules are available for all 
states requiring returns ex- 
cept Hawaii. 

Other features of Tax 
Edge include pull-down 
menus, a glossary of tax 
terms, enhanced on-line 
help, a comparison chart of 
U.S. averages, and alterna- 
tive-filing comparison 
tools. The program provides 
instructions for the nearly 
40 tax forms, and it prints 
your return in an IRS- 
approved format. 
Price: Personal Tax Edge, 
$49; state modules, $49 

Contact: Parsons Technol- 
ogy, l Parsons Dr., P.O. 
Box 100, Hiawatha, IA 
52233, (319) 395-9626; fax 
Circle 1 008 on Inquiry Card. 

EasyTax Offers 
Helpful Hints 

EasyTax for 1991 in- 
cludes all IRS-approved 
forms, worksheets, and 
schedules. EasyTax provides 
on-screen help that explains 
the tax return process and of- 
fers tips to lower your tax 
bill. You can print replica- 
tions of IRS tax forms or 
take advantage of the elec- 
tronic-filing option. The 
developer offers state filing 
modules for 24 states. 

EasyTax lets you import 
data from Quicken, Lotus 
1-2-3, and other programs. 
The form-linking feature up- 
dates data in worksheets, 
forms, and schedules as you 
change information in one 
area. You can do what-if pro- 
jections to determine your 
best tax alternative, and the 
DOS-based package warns 
you if your return's content 
might spark an IRS audit. 
Price: $79.95. 
Contact: Time works, Inc., 
625 Academy Dr. , North- 
brook, IL 60062, (708) 
559-1300; fax (708) 559- 
Circle 1009 on Inquiry Card. 

Offers a Bundle 
of Tax Packages 

TurboTax, available for 
DOS and Windows, 
walks you through the prep- 
aration of your tax return in a 
question-and-answer pro- 
cess. The program features 
specialized help topics that 
advise you on the implica- 
tions of personal issues or 
answer questions on income, 
payment, and expense cate- 

You can import data 
from Quicken or any spread- 
sheet directly into Turbo- 
Tax, according to the devel- 
oper. This year's version of 
the program features en- 
hanced depreciation capa- 
bilities, and you can automat- 
ically flow amortization 
amounts to the appropriate 
line of your return. Turbo- 
Tax does a final review of 
your return, highlighting 
unusual itemized deductions, 
audit flags, and year-round 
tax deadlines. 

MacInTax alerts you to 
changes in tax laws and to the 
program itself. The System 
7.0-compliant package fea- 
tures automatic form, 
schedule, and worksheet 
linkage. A state version of 
TurboTax is available for all 
44 states that have income 
taxes; MacInTax offers 1 5 
state packages. 
Price: TurboTax, $79.95; 
TurboTax for Windows and 
MacInTax, $99.95; Turbo- 
Tax state modules, $49.95 
each; Windows and Mac 
state modules, $69.95. 
Contact: ChipSoft, Inc., 
6330 Nancy Ridge Dr., Suite 
103, San Diego, CA 92121, 
(619) 458-8722; fax (800) 
Circle 1010 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 92PC-7 



The CD Gallery: 
Facts, Music, 
and More 

The CD Gallery, an 
NEC CD-ROM drive 
and seven CD-ROM soft- 
ware titles, is available for 
PC and Macintosh systems. 
In addition to the disk-read- 
ing hardware, both versions 
include interface software, 
speakers, and headphones. 

Both PC and Mac disk 
sets include the New Grolier 
Electronic Encyclopedia 
and The Time Table of Histo- 
ry. The PC version comes 
with such titles as The Time 
Magazine Almanac and Na- 
tional Geographic Mammals: 
A Multimedia Encyclope- 
dia. Mac users get Warner 
New Media and Time mag- 
azine' s Desert Storm. 
Price: $699 to $1229, de- 

NEC 's CD Gallery lets you access the Los Angeles visitors ' 
guide, which is offered as part of the Great Cities of the World 
disk for PCs. 

pending on the CD-ROM 

drive and the system 


Contact: NEC Technol- 

ogies, Inc., 1255 Michael 
Dr., Wood Dale, IL 60191, 
(708) 860-9500. 
Circle 1027 on Inquiry Card. 

A Business 
on a Disk 

Nynex Fast Track, the 
consumer and business 
telephone directory, is now 
available as a nine-disk set 
that lets you access direc- 
tory information by name, 
address, telephone number, 
or ZIP code for more than 77 
million listings. You can 
purchase Fast Track in any 
number of regional combi- 
nations. The directory will 
be updated quarterly. 
Price: $125 to $7995, de- 
pending on configuration. 
Contact: Nynex Informa- 
tion Technologies Co. , 100 
Church St., Ninth Floor, 
New York, NY 10007, (800) 
338-0646 or (212) 513- 
Circle 1028 on Inquiry Card. 

386SX-16 or 25MHz 


• 2MB Ram (Expands to 16MB) 

• 80 MB IDE Hard Drive 

• Mini-Tower Case 

• 1.2MB 5.25" Floppy Drive 

• 101 Key Tactile Keyboard 

• 2 Serial, 1 Parallel, 1 Game Port 

• S. VGA Card (1024x768-256 Color) 

• S. VGA Monitor (1024x768 .28dot) 

• MS-DOS 5.0 

• Windows 3.0 and Mouse 

• FCC Class B 

• FCC Blass B 



386-33 or 40 MHz 


•64K Write Back Cache 

• 4MB Ram (Expands to 32MB) 

• 120MB IDE Hard Drive 

• Middle-Tower Case 

• 1.2MB 5.25" Floppy Drive 

• 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive 

• 101 Key Tactile Keyboard 

• 2 Serial, 1 Parallel, 1 Game Port 

• Orchard ProDesigner lis 32K Color 

• 14" Non-interlaced Monitor 
1024x768 72Hz Refresh .28 dp 

• MS-DOS 5.0 

• Windows 3.0 and Mouse 

• FCC Class B 


486-33 MHz 


• 256K Write Back Cache 

• 4MB Ram (Expands to 32MB) 

• 120MB IDE Hard Drive 

• Middle-Tower Case 

• 1.2MB 5.25" Floppy Drive 

• 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive 

• 101 Key Tactile Keyboard 

• 2 Serial, 1 Parallel, 1 Game Port 

• Orchard ProDesigner lis 32K Color 

• 14" Non-interlaced Monitor 
1024x768 72Hz Refresh .28 dp 

•MS-DOS 5.0 

• Windows 3.0 and Mouse 

• FCC Class B 


DOS 5.0 & Windows 3.0 Installation . 
OS/2 Installation 



Information Systems 

780 Montague Expwy #303, San Jose, CA 95131 
Tel: 408-456-0111 Fax: 408-456-0818 
California Utah 

408-456-0111 801-278-8400 

Idaho Montana 

208-467-5357 406-449-4499 

92PC-8 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Circle 567 on Inquiry Card. 


Mail Your Completed Card Today. For Quicker Response, Fax to 1-413-637-4343! 

Circle the numbers on Inquiry Card which correspond to 
inquiry numbers assigned to items of interest to you. 

Check all the appropriate answers to questions "A" 
through "E". 

Print Your name and address and mail, or fax to 

Fill out this coupon carefully. PLEASE PRINT. 

{ ) 

A. What is your primary job function/principal area of 
responsibility? (Check one.) 

1 □ MIS/DP 4 D Sales/Marketing 

2 □ Programmer/Systems Analyst 5 Q Engineer/Scientist 

3 D Adminislralion/Manafement 6 D Other 

B. What is your level of management responsibility? 

7 □ Senior-level 9 □ Professional 

8 □ Middle level 

C Are you a reseller (VAR, VAD, Dealer, Consultant)? 
10DYes 11DNo 



Inquiry Numbers 1-493 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 

35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 

52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 

69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 

86 87 B8 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 

103 104 105 106 
120 121 122 123 
137 138 139 140 
154 155156157 
171 172 173 174 
188 189 190 191 
205 206 207 208 
222 223 224 225 

107 108 109 
124 125 126 
141 142 143 
158 159 160 
175 176 177 
192 193 194 
209 210 211 
226 227 228 

110 111 112 
127 128 129 
144 145 146 
161 162 163 
178 179 180 
195 196 197 
212 213 214 
229 230 231 

113 114 115 
130 131 132 
147 148 149 
164 165 166 
181 182 183 
198 199 200 
215 216 217 
232 233 234 

116 117 118 119 
133 134 135 136 
150 151 152 153 
167 168 169 170 
184 185 186 187 
201 202 203 204 
218 219 220 221 
235 236 237 238 

239240 241 242243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 
256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 
273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 
290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 
307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 
324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 
341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 

358 359 360 
375 376 377 
392 393 394 
409 410 411 
426 427 428 
443 444 445 
460 461 462 
477 478 479 

361 362 363 364 
378 379 380 381 
395 396 397 398 
412 413 414 415 
429 430 431 432 
446 447 448 449 
463 464 465 466 
480 481 482 483 

365 366 367 
382 383 384 
399 400 401 
416 417 418 
433 434 435 
450 451 452 
467 468 469 
484 485 486 

368 369 370 
385 386 387 
402 403 404 
419 420 421 
436 437 438 
453 454 455 
470 471 472 
487 488 489 

371 372 373 374 
388 389 390 391 
405 406 407 408 
422 423 424 425 
439 440 441 442 
456 457 456 459 
473 474 475 476 
490 491 492 493 

Inquiry Numbers 494-986 

494 495 495 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 
511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 
528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 
545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 
562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 576 577 578 
579 580 581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 
596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 612 

613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620621 622623 624 625626627628629 
630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 
647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 
664 665 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680 
681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 
698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 
715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723724 725 726 727 728729730 731 

732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 
749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 
766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 
783 784 785 786 787 788 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 
800 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 808 809 810 811 812 813 814 815 816 
817 818 819 820821 822 823 824 825826 827 828 829 830 831832 833 
834 835 836 837 838 839 840 841 842 843 844 845 846 847 848 849 850 

851 652 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860 861 862 863 864 865 866 867 
868 869 870 871 872 873 874 875 876 877 878 879 880 881 882 883 884 
885 886 887 888 889 890 89 1 892 893 894 895 896 897 898 899 900 901 
902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916 917 918 
919 920 921 922 923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 
936 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 
953 954 955 956 957 958 959 960 961 962 963 964 965 968 967 968 969 
970 971 972 973 974 975 976 977 978 979 980 981 982 983 984 985 986 

0. What operating systems are you currently using? (Check all 
that apply.) 

12 □ PC/MS DOS 1 5 D UNIX 

13 D DOS + Windows 1 6 □ MacOS 

14 □ OS/2 17D VAX/VMS 
E. For how many people do you influence the purchase of 
hardware or software? 

18 □ 1-25 20 □ 51-99 

19 □ 26-50 21 □ 100 or more 
D Please send me one year of BYTE Magazine for 

$2495 and bill me. Offervalid in U.S. and 
possessions only. MARCH 

Inquiry Numbers 987-1479 IRSD03C 

987 988 989 990 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 9991000100110021003 
1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1011 1012 1013 1014 1015 1016 1017 1018 1019 1020 
1021 1022 1023 1024 1025 1026 1027 1028 1029 1030 1031 1032 1033 1034 1035 1036 1037 
1038 1039 1040 1041 1042 1043 1044 1045 1046 1047 1048 1049 1050 1051 1052 1053 1054 
1055 1056 1057 1058 1059 1060 1061 1062 1063 1064 1065 1066 1067 1068 1069 1070 1071 
1072 1073 1074 1075 1076 1077 1078 1079 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086 1087 1088 
1089 1090 1091 1092 1093 1094 1095 1096 1097 1098 1099 1100 1101 1102 1103 1104 1105 

1106 1107 1108 1109 1110 1111 1112 1113 1114 1115 1116 1117 1118 1119 1120 1121 1122 

1123 1124 1125 1126 1127 1128 1129 1130 1131 1132 1133 1134 1135 1136 1137 1138 1139 

1140 1141 1142 1143 1144 1145 1146 1147 1148 1149 1150 1151 1152 1153 1154 1155 1156 

1157 1158 1159 1160 1161 1162 1163 1164 1165 1166 1167 1168 1169 1170 1171 1172 1173 

1174 1175 1176 1177 1178 1179 1180 1181 1182 1183 1184 1185 1186 1187 1188 1189 1190 

1191 1192 1193 1194 1195 1195 1197 1198 1199 1200 1201 1202 1203 1204 1205 1206 1207 

1208 1209 1210 1211 1212 1213 1214 1215 1216 1217 1218 1219 1220 1221 1222 1223 1224 

1242 1243 
1259 1260 
1276 1277 
1293 1294 
1310 1311 
1327 1328 

1344 1345 
1361 1362 
1378 1379 
1395 1396 
1429 1430 
1446 1447 
1463 1464 

1227 1228 
1261 1262 
1295 1296 
1312 1313 
1329 1330 

1346 1347 
1363 1364 
1380 1381 
1397 1398 
1414 1415 
1431 1432 
1448 1449 
1465 1466 

1229 1230 
1280 1281 
1297 1298 
1331 1332 

1231 1232 
1265 1266 
1282 1283 
1299 1300 
1316 1317 
1333 1334 

1284 1285 
1301 1302 
1318 1319 
1335 1336 

1235 1236 
1252 1253 
1269 1270 
1320 1321 
1337 1338 

1237 1238 1239 
1271 12721273 
1288 1289 1290 
1322 1323 1324 
1339 1340 1341 

1348 1349 1350 
1365 1366 1367 
1382 1383 1384 
1433 1434 1435 
14501451 1452 
1467 1468 1469 

1351 1352 1353 
1368 1369 1370 
1385 1386 1387 
1402 1403 1404 
1436 1437 1438 
1453 1454 1455 
1470 1471 1472 

1354 1355 1356 
1371 1372 1373 
1388 1389 1390 
1405 1406 1407 
1422 1423 1424 
1439 1440 1441 
1456 1457 1458 
1473 1474 1475 

1357 1358 
1374 1375 
1391 1392 
1408 1409 
1425 1426 
1442 1443 
1459 1460 

1274 1275 
1291 1292 
1325 1326 
1342 1343 

1359 1360 
1410 1411 
1444 1445 
1461 1462 
1478 1479 











PO Box 5110 

Pittsfield, MA 01203-9926 


III II. .I. Ill II.I.I..I.I....I.I.II..I..I.I 


Mail Your Completed Card Today. For Quicker Response, Fax to 1-413-637-43431 

Circle the numbers on Inquiry Card which correspond to 
inquiry numbers assigned to items of interest to you. 

Check ail the appropriate answers to questions "A" 
through "E". 

Print Your name and address and mail, or fax to 











PO Box 5110 

Pittsfield, MA 01203-9926 


III II., I. Ill II. I.I.. I.I.. . . I . I . II .. I. . 1. 1 

Fill out this coupon carefully. PLEASE PRINT. 

( } 

A. What is your primary job function/principal area of 
responsibility? (Check one.) 

1 □ MIS/DP 4 □ Sales/Marketing 

2 □ Programmer/Syslems Analyst 5 □ Engineer/Scientist 

3 □ Administration/Management 6 □ Olher 

B. What is your level of management responslblllly? 

7 D Senior-level 9 □ Professional 

8 D Middle-level 

C. Are you a reseller (VAR, VAD, Dealer, Consultant)? 
10DYes 11DN0 

Inquiry Numbers 1-493 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 

18 19,20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 

35 36/37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 

52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 

69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 

86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 

103 104 105 
120121 122 
137 138 139 
154 155 156 
171 172 173 
188 189 190 
205 206 207 
222 223 224 

239 240 241 
256 257 256 
273 274 275 
290 291 292 
307 308 309 
324 325 326 
341 342 343 

358 359 360 
375 376 377 
392 393 394 
409 410 411 
426 427 428 
443 444 445 
460 481 462 
477 476 479 

106 107 108 
123 124 125 
140 141 142 
157 158 159 
174 175 176 
191 192 193 
208 209 210 
225 226 227 

242 243 244 
259 280 261 
278 277 278 
293 294 295 
310 3T1312 
327 328 329 
344 345 346 

361 382 363 
378 379 380 
395 396 397 
412 413 414 
429 430 431 
446 447 446 
463 464 465 
480 481 462 

109 HO Til t12 
126 127 128 129 
143 144 145 146 
160161 162163 
177 178 179 180 
194 195 196 197 
211 212 213 214 
228 229 2i0 231 

t13 t14 115 
130 131 132 
147 148 149 
164 165166 
181 182 183 
198 199 200 
215 216 217 
232 233 234 

TI6 TI7 TIB 119 

133 134 135 136 
150 151 152 153 
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235 236 237 238 

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313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 
330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 336 339 340 
347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 358 357 

364 365 368 367 368 369 370 
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398 399 400 401 402 403 404 
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449 450 451 452 453 454 455 
466 467 468 469 470 471 472 
483 484 485 486 487 488 489 

371 372 373 374 
368 389 390 391 
405 406 407 408 
422 423 424 425 
439 440 441 442 
456 457 458 459 
473 474 475 476 
490 491 492 493 

Inquiry Numbers 494-986 

494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 

5 11 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 
528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 
545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 556 559 560 561 
562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 576 577 578 
579 560 561 582 583 584 585 588 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 
596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 6TI 612 

613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 621 622623624625626627628 629 
630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 
647 648 649 650 651 652 853 654 655 656 857 658 659 860 681 682 663 
664 665 666 667 666 659 870 671 672 873 674 675 676 877 676 679 680 
681 682 663 664 685 .686 687 688 889 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 
698 699 700 701 702-.703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 7TI 712 713 714 
715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722723724 725 726727728 729 730731 

732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 746 
749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 
766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 
783 764 765 798 787 788 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 788 797 798 799 
800 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 808 809 810 8TI 812 813 814 815 816 
817 818 819 820 821 822 823 824 825 826 827 828 829 830 831 832 833 
834 835 836 837 838 839 840 841 842 843 844 845 846 847 848 849 850 

851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860 681 882 883 864 865 666 887 
666 869 870 871 872 873 874 875 676 877 878 879 860 681 882 883 864 
865 666 887 888 689 890 891 892 893 694 895 896 897 898 899 900 901 
902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916 917 918 
919 920 921 922 923 924 925 926 927 926 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 
936 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 
953 954 955 956 957 956 959 960 961 962 963 964 985 966 967 968 969 
970 971 972 973 974 975 976 977 976 979 980 961 962 983 984 965 986 

D. What operating systems are you currently using? (Check all 
that apply.) 

12 □ PC/MS-DOS 15 □ UNIX 

13 □ DOS + Windows 16DMacOS 

14 DOS/2 17 D VAX/VMS 

E. For how many people do you Influence the purchase of 
hardware or software? 

18 D 1-25 20 □ 51-99 

19 □ 26-50 21 □ 100 or more 
□ Please send me one year of BYTE Magazine for 

$24.95 and bill me. Offer valid in US. and 
possessions only. MARCH 

Inquiry Numbers 987-1479 IRSD03C 

987 988 989 990 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 9991000100110021003 
1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1011 1012 1013 1014 1015 1016 1017 1018 1019 1020 
1021 1022 1023 1024 1025 1026 1027 1028 1029 1030 1031 1032 1033 1034 1035 1036 1037 
1038 1039 1040 1041 1042 1043 1044 1045 1046 1047 1048 1049 1050 1051 1052 1053 1054 
1055 1056 1057 1058 1059 1060 1061 1062 1063 1064 1065 1066 1067 1068 1069 1070 1071 
1072 1073 1074 1075 1076 1077 1078 1079 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086 1087 1088 
1089 1090 1091 1092 1093 1094 1095 1096 1097 1098 1099 1100 TI01 1102 T103 1104 TI05 

1106 1107 no8 no9 mo mi 1112 1113 ni4 1115 1116 1117 1118 1119 1120 1121 1122 

H23 H24 1125 H26 1127 H28 1129 H30 1131 T132 1133 1134 T135 TI36 1137 1138 1139 

H40 T141 T142 1143 H44 1145 TI46 TI47 TI48 1149 1150 1151 1152 1153 1154 1155 1156 

TI57 TI58 H59 H60 H61 H62 H63 H64 H65 TI66 H67 1168 1169 1170 H71 1172 1173 

H74 1175 H76 1177 1178 TI79 TI80 T181 1182 1183 1184 1185 1186 1187 1188 1189 T190 

1191 H92 H93 H94 1195 TI96 TI97 TI98 1199 1200 1201 1202 1203 1204 1205 1206 1207 

1208 1209 1210 1211 1212 1213 1214 1215 1216 1217 1218 1219 1220 1221 1222 1223 1224 

1225 1226 
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1344 1345 
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13631364 1365 
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1448 1449 1450 
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1349 1350 
1383 1384 
1400 1401 
1451 1452 
1468 1469 


1249 1250 
1266 1267 
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1300 1301 

1351 1352 
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1234 1235 1236 
1268 1269 1270 
1319 13201321 

1237 1238 
1254 1255 
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1322 1323 
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1239 12401241 
1256 1257 1258 
1273 1274 1275 
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1387 1388 
1404 1405 
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1455 1456 
1472 14/3 

1372 1373 
1389 1390 
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1374 1375 
1391 1392 
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1359 1360 
1393 1394 
1410 1411 
1427 1428 
1444 1445 
1461 1462 
1478 1479 


and Big Cats 


Nietzsche says that which does not kill us makes 
us stronger. This month seemed designed to 
demonstrate that to me, but all's well that ends 
My Cheetah 386/25 is one of the first ones they 
made. Indeed, I got it when 386 chips were rare, and I had 
to wheedle a 25-MHz 386/387 chip set out of Intel, since 
Cheetah couldn't get any for me. The system was as- 
sembled by Larry Aldridge, and it was my main system 
from the day I got it until a couple of weeks ago. During 
that time, it was turned off only when I went on trips 
and the innumerable times we changed one or another 
peripheral board. 

We also loaded it up: CD-ROM drive, tape drive, LAN 
card, Perceptive Solutions drive controller with 4 MB 
of on-board cache memory, dual hard drives — you name 
it, and we put it in there. In all that time, I had no real 
problems with it; indeed, that machine was so reliable 
that although I have had a Cheetah Gold 486/33 for 
months, I continued to use the 386/25, relegating the 486 
to the status of a network server. 

Two weeks ago I set up Norton Commander to go 
look at my MCI Mail, and I went for a hike in the local 
hills. When I got back, the screen was blank, and there 
was no power light on the machine. I thought at first that 
the housekeeper had turned the machine off, but no, the 
switch was on. But the fan wasn't on, and the drives 
were not spinning. 

This seemed odd. My writing machines are powered 
from a Clary uninterruptible power supply, and it was 
working just fine as always. 

I flipped the power switch off and back on. The pow- 
er light came on for about a second and went off again. No 
question about it, I had a problem. I opened up the ma- 
chine and thought about it. My first thought was a short 
of some kind, possibly on one of the boards. First thing, 
then, was to pull out the drive controller board. With its 
4 MB of memory, it uses more power than anything else. 
Sure enough, it made a difference: now, when I flipped 
the power switch, it stayed on for almost 2 seconds before 
going dead. 

Next step was to unplug everything. When I did that, 
the power supply would run fine; but as soon as I put a 
load on it, it died. Not much question, then, that the prob- 
lem was the power supply. I had a 200-watt Turbo-Cool 
power supply from PC Power & Cooling. In fact, all my 
Cheetah systems have Turbo-Cool power supplies; that 
was the only kind Larry Aldridge recommended. A quick 
call to my son Alex confirmed my theory. 

Alex also pointed out that when we added all the pe- 
ripherals and extra drives we'd loaded that 200-W supply 
right up to its capacity and beyond — and that apparently 
it had failed gracefully, not smoking any boards on the 
way out. A lot of power supplies do terrible damage as 
they die, but we never heard of a Turbo-Cool doing that. 

I had Alex order me a new 300-W Turbo-Cool. It was 
too late for them to get it out that day, so it would be at 
least two days before I could 
fix my Cheetah 386. Unfortu- 
nately, I had a lot of work to 
do, and there was no way I 
could afford to take two days 
off. I had to have a machine. 
Of course, I have several sys- 
tems in the other room. I could 
go use one of them. I could 
even use Roberta's Gateway, 
which works just fine. But I 
didn't like either idea much: 
my desk and chair are set up 
pretty well to take care of my 
back, and I really hate to work 
away from my desk. 

Configuring a new 
machine is always a 
learning experience 

Cheetah Gold 486/33 
The obvious thing to do was to 
use this as an opportunity to 
upgrade to the Cheetah Gold 
486/33. I'd have to do that one 
day anyway. There are getting 
to be just too many nifty pro- 
grams that require Windows, 
and while my old Cheetah 
386/25 with 4 MB of RAM 
was plenty adequate for DOS 
and Desqview, it would be only 

marginally so for Windows. With Windows, you want 
about 8 MB of memory, and a 486/25 is none too fast; a 
486/33 is much better. 

I know there are people who despise Windows be- 
cause it won't run on their older hardware, and I sympa- 
thize. I have stayed with Desqview this past year be- 
cause I didn't like the Windows performance on my 
386/25. That's ironic because Desqview is itself hard- 
ware-sensitive. It will work with a 286, but it's sure bet- 
ter with a 386. 1 was also wrong: a 386/25 is plenty fast 
enough for Windows, especially if it is run with an intel- 
ligent controller, like one from Distributed Processing 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 93 


Technology or Perceptive Solutions, pro- 
vided you have the right video card. On 
that, more later. 

In any event, the Gold 486/33 has a fast 
Perceptive Solutions controller with 4 MB 
of on-board cache memory and a big 800- 
MB Siemens hard drive. Cheetah systems 
run clean without glitches and are among 
the best development systems available; 
this one is easily the best machine in the 
house. Moreover, it was already set up 
with Artisoft's LANtastic and had the 

Palindrome digital audiotape backup and 
Network Archivist software installed. I 
figured that changing over would never 
be easier. 

I was almost right. 

First things first. As it happened, I had 
used the network to copy everything from 
the Cheetah 386 to the 486 just the night 
before in a routine backup. I had done al- 
most no work in the morning before my 
hike, so the only thing that could be lost 
was whatever the 386 had picked up from 

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stay with the WC 

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To tie it all together, use KEA's network connection 

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MCI Mail; and since MCI Mail keeps all 
your messages for a couple of days, I could 
even check that out. All I'd have to do, 
then, would be to move the 486 in under 
my desk and connect it to my Zenith Flat 
Technology Monitor and my Northgate 
OmniKey keyboard. Then I'd have to mess 
about installing QEMM 6.0 and Desqview 
and getting them right, but everything else 
should have been fine. Once that was done, 
I could install Windows. 

There was one little problem. When I'd 
start up the Gold 486/33, it would try to 
load the mouse driver, but the mouse soft- 
ware wouldn't load. Instead, I'd get a mes- 
sage that the interrupt jumper was miss- 
ing. That hadn't been a problem for a 
network server that doesn't need a mouse, 
but it sure was for a machine that I was 
setting up to run Windows. Still, how long 
could it take to run down that problem? 

It turned out to eat nearly a day. 

The Gold 486/33 originally had a video 
card that was fast enough, but it wouldn't 
work with the network. The video card 
grabbed all the high memory it could find 
and wouldn't let go, so the network had 
no place to operate. I replaced it with a 
Sota Technology video card — a fairly old 
Sota card. 

Like the ATI Technologies video cards, 
the Sota cards have the capability of letting 
you connect a bus mouse to the card, thus 
saving either a serial port or a slot for a 
bus mouse card. Unlike the ATI card, you 
can buy the Sota card without the mouse 
port and mouse. On the other hand, ATI 
has aggressive pricing policies, so you're 
not paying much for the mouse you get 
with their board. 

On the gripping hand, the mouse drivers 
that come with the ATI video card aren't 
much good. But you can use Logitech or 
Microsoft mouse drivers, which are. 

In any event, I had a serial mouse con- 
nected to COM2. 1 removed that, found a 
bus mouse, and tried to enable it with the 
Sota card. No joy. As I said, this was an 
older card. And I figured that while it 
worked just fine with a 486/25, its bus 
mouse port just couldn't keep up with the 
486/33. OK, use the DIP switch to disable 
the bus mouse entirely and go back to 

That didn't work, either. In desperation, 
I got out an older video card, one with no 
mouse port, and tried that: the mouse still 
wouldn't work. This time, though, I got 
an error message regarding interrupt re- 
quest processing. That led me to look at 
the other cards in the system — and, lo, I 
found that the LANtastic network card was 
set by default to use IRQ 3, which is in 
fact COM2. All I had to do, then, was tell 
LANtastic to use one of the higher-order 

94 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 72 on Inquiry Card. 

We asked LaserJet III users what 
they wanted in a font cartridge. 

They told us to stuff it, 

c0 tfPLETB 



ci* 1 " 

jv/arff ft" ■ 

c ^a° u 


r***^ ^ PACIFIC 


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Shannon BO*" 

C G libelant tt°° B 

3 ^A„ liqu ^ e " 


77/e Complete Font Library Cartridge. 
Stuffed with every font you'll ever need for 
your Laserjet III. 

Let's face it. People who use a LaserJet III 
printer are demanding. After all, that's why 
they chose a LaserJet III in the first place. So 
we weren't at all surprised when they told us 
to stuff it — our font cartridge that is. 

You see, we realize that the one or two 
resident typefaces in the LaserJet III, HID, HIP, 
and IlISi, just don't fulfill the needs of users 
who create a wide variety of documents. Each 
message you send is different. So each should 
be dressed in fonts that clearly deliver that 
message. And that's why you need The 
Complete Font Library Cartridge. 

Each of its 51 different typestyles is fully 
scalable. So you can choose a point size as big 
as 999.75, as small as .25, or just about any 
point size in between. 

And with our custom printer drivers, the 
cartridge can be used with popular software 
applications like Windows 2.X/3.0, Word 5.0/ 
5.5, and Ventura Publisher 2.0/3.0 as well as 
software that includes Autof ont support. 

So get all the fonts you'll ever need for 
your LaserJet III in one cartridge for 

[ght ltQlj c r 





o ct 

only $399. You won't even need 
additional printer memory. 

For more information on the 
Complete Font Library Cartridge 
or for a dealer near you, contact: 
Pacific Data Products at 
9125 Rehco Rd, San Diego, CA 


(619) 597-4660 


(619) 552-0889. 

LGtrQs *<^ 

L '9ht 



Complete Font Library Cartridge is a trademark of Pacific Data Products. Inc. Laserjet is a registered trademark of Hewlett-Packard Co. Scalable type outlines are licensed from Agfa 
m /%p A ^H^ff% Corporation. All other company, product and h/jvfacc names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Hie company or manufacturer respectively. 
Alir A^igr EUROPEAN OFFICES: Geneva Tel (41) 22.41 .26 JM, Fax (41), France Tel (33) I ,39 2.3 20 00, Fax (.3.3) 1 .39 6.3 .37 20, U.K. Tel (44) 442 23 14 14, Fax (44)442 23 65 40 

© 1991 Pacific Data Products, Inc. 








a Hew bus mouse often requires 

stealing an IRQ from some other 





System timer 

Duplexed with IRQ 9 
COM2 or COM4 
COM1 or COM3 

Set by BIOS 
Set by BIOS 
Hard drive on XT 
Serial port 
Serial port 



Floppy drive 
Real-time clock 

Second parallel port 
Usual printer port 







VGA; duplexed with IRQ 2 

Not assigned 

Not assigned 

Usually not assigned 


Hard drive 


Usually not assigned 

Sometimes second hard drive 

interrupts — LANtastic sets that in soft- 
ware, and I chose IRQ 1 5 — and the Great 
Mouse Puzzle was solved. 

The IRQ Lesson 

At that point, I could use either the serial 
mouse on COM2 or the bus mouse con- 
nected through the Sota video card. Sota 
uses the Logitech Mouse Chip, which runs 
Logitech or Microsoft mice with the Mi- 
crosoft Windows mouse drivers or what- 
ever other drivers you like. The Sota card 
has jumpers that will let you set the mouse 
interrupt to IRQ 2, 3, 4, or 5, and I sus- 
pect that some of you would like that ex- 

There has to be a way to tell the com- 
puter system that the mouse has done 
something. This is done withanlRQ.Inan 
AT or PS/2, there are 1 6 of these, num- 
bered through 15. When the computer 
sees an interrupt flag, it stops what it's do- 
ing to process the interrupt by executing 
the instructions that its software tells it are 
associated with that IRQ. Some of these 
are built into the computer's BIOS. Others 
are loaded on boot-up. In particular, the 
mouse software driver will have instruc- 
tions on what to do if a mouse event — a 
click or a mouse movement — interrupts 
the computer. 

Now, which interrupt that will be de- 
pends on a number of factors. The infor- 
mation in the table comes from Touch- 
Stone Software's Checklt, a very useful 
troubleshooting tool. 

Of those, only IRQ through 7 are 
available on 8-bit peripheral systems (i.e., 
the original PC and XT, or an 8-bit slot 
on an AT or a PS/2). That has had the un- 

fortunate effect that many companies de- 
sign cards that let you use only IRQ 2 
through 5. This can cause real problems 
when you're trying to set up a high-end 

If you assign IRQ 3 to the bus mouse, it 
will still disable the COM2 port, and if 
you try to use COM2, either the port or 
the mouse won't work. Indeed, if you as- 
sign IRQ 3 to the bus mouse and plug a 
serial mouse into COM2, that mouse can't 
work. What I tend to do is assign the bus 
mouse to IRQ 5, since I'm not likely to 
have two active parallel ports and I may 
need two serial ports. 

Fortunately, Artisoft, Novell, and other 
companies are now designing their cards so 
you can use any IRQ from 2 through 15.1 
wish everyone else would. 

Anyway, once I had the IRQ conflict 
resolved, it was a breeze. I just installed 
QEMM 6.0 and Desqview and let 
QEMM's Optimize program doits thing, 
and in no time, I had Desqview windows 
of 576 KB. I sure do like QEMM 6.0. 

Parallel Blues 

Next thing then was to transfer software 
from other systems. I've found that for 
temporary hookups the fastest and most 
convenient way to move lots of files 
around is to connect parallel port to paral- 
lel port with a yellow LapLink "design- 
er" cable and use the new LapLink Pro. 
I've also found that I can use an Inmac 
blue cable with gender changer to extend 
the parallel-to-parallel distance up to about 
20 feet without any problem. 

This time, though, it didn't work. I had 
the Gold 486/33 connected to the Chee- 

tah 486/25 Larry Niven uses, and LapLink 
Pro going on both, but the machines sim- 
ply refused to acknowledge each other's 
existence. Very strange. Since I knew that 
Niven' s 25-MHz machine could be con- 
nected parallel-port-to-parallel-port with 
other systems, logic dictated that I check 
out the 486/33 's parallel port. The easiest 
way to do that was to connect it to the 

It wouldn't print. That told me what the 
problem was, but now what? I could hard- 
ly have a primary system that wouldn't 
print! I called Ron Sartore, the Cheetah's 
designer. He had no idea why it wouldn't 
print, but he suspected the little 3Com card. 
Cheetah computers don't have ports on 
the motherboard. Instead, they rely on a 
3Com card, which has two serial ports and 
one parallel port. I checked the DIP switch- 
es on the 3Com card. They seemed all 
right, but it didn't work. 

Fortunately, Alex had a spare parallel 
port card. I plugged it in and the printer 
worked, so I knew there was nothing 
wrong with the machine. I looked again 
at the 3Com card, and I made a discov- 
ery: the cable connector from the card to 
the DB-25 connector was in backward. It 
probably always had been. It hadn't hurt 
anything, but it sure wasn't going to work 
that way. Once that was turned around, 
the printer worked fine. 

Once again, I connected the 486/33's 
parallel port to LapLink Pro — and it still 
didn't work. By now I was getting frus- 
trated. I tried Alex's parallel card, and Lap- 
Link Pro worked fine. I again called Ron 
Sartore, from whom I learned something: 
the 3Com card has only an output parallel 
port. It's one-way. That was the original 
IBM PC specification! 

I could have fixed that with a different 
I/O card, but I decided it didn't really mat- 
ter. My setup has a cable from COM1 to 
the desktop, where I plug in the USRo- 
botics Courier HST Dual modem, which, 
incidentally, I've used for more than a year 
without any glitches, hitches, or problems 
whatever. When I want to connect to Lap- 
Link Pro for file transfer from another ma- 
chine, such as a laptop, it's easy to unplug 
the modem and plug in the LapLink Pro 
cable in its place. 

On the other hand, I suspect that the 
lack of an input capability on my parallel 
port might cause problems if I were to use 
any of the software protected by a "don- 
gle" — one of those gizmos that plug into 
your parallel port. It might not. Some of 
those dongles use the "out of paper" signal 
as input and don't need a full parallel input 

On the gripping hand, I generally don't 
use software protected that way, because if 

96 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


DTK Computer 

DTK 486 drives high-performance software in PC Week Labs test. 

When PC Week's editors asked PC Week Labs to 
test Autodesk's® Renderman™ software, a DTK 
i486™ computer was chosen to run the sophisticated, 
high-level shading software program. (The drawing 
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Renderman™ output.) 

It takes a lot of muscle to get the full benefits of 
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We begin with Intel's® potent 
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When power and dependability are 
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Perhaps it's time you con- 
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(908) 562-8800 


(305) 597-8888 

Autodesk is a registered trademark and Renderman is a trademark of Autodesk Inc. The DTK Logo is a registered trademark of DTK Computer Inc. 
Intel is a registered trademark and the Intel Inside Logo and i486 are trademarks of Intel Corporation. Design and specifications subject to change 
without notice. ©1991. DTK Computer Inc. 

Circle 53 on Inquiry Card. 


I started, where would I stop? You could 
end up with a dozen of those things hang- 
ing off the back of your machine. 

One day I'll probably replace the 3Com 
card with one that has a two-way parallel 
port. Meanwhile, it's no big problem, and 
the Gold 486/33 remains by far the best 
system in the house. 

Setting Up: BOOTCON.S YS 

I'm still operating under Desqview, but 
for reasons I'll get to in a bit, I'm pretty 

certain to switch to Windows 3.1 by the 
time you read this. On the other hand, I'll 
still want to be able to use Desqview. 

That presents configuration problems. 
Although some Windows users confine 
themselves to programs written for Win- 
dows, I still have some DOS applications 
I'll have to run. That means I'll need large 
DOS windows. It means I will need ex- 
panded memory. In a word, I need a good 
memory manager, and DOS 5.0 doesn't 
have one. Discussion with Windows users 

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convinces me that there are two worth 
looking at: 386Max and QEMM. Both 
work, but it's the consensus of colleagues 
as well as my experience that QEMM 6.0 
is the better of the two. Certainly it's the 
hands-down choice for Desqview users. 

The problem is that Desqview and Win- 
dows want different configurations. In par- 
ticular, you want DOS=HIGH to run Win- 
dows, but you don't want it there for 
Desqview, since Desqview makes better 
use of that high memory space than DOS. 
There's nothing for it; you must reboot 
your machine and change to a different 
CONFIG.SYS when changing from Win- 
dows to Desqview and vice versa. One 
way to do that is to have two CONFIG 
and copy the appropriate one as CON- 
FIG.SYS before you reboot. 

You'll also want different AUTOEX- 
EC files, so a batch file that copies the ap- 
propriate CONFIG and AUTOEXEC files 
would do the trick. Then, too, you might 
want CONFIG and AUTOEXEC files that 
produce big, clean systems with no TSR 
programs, and perhaps another pair that 
set up your system as a network server. 
Pretty soon, you'll have a dozen files and 
a complicated batch file just to handle con- 

Fortunately, there's a better way to han- 
dle this. BOOTCON.SYS lets you set 
up as many as 26 CONFIG/ AUTOEXEC 
files and choose the appropriate one on 
boot-up. It then gets out of the way. If you 
spend any time at all fooling with your 
system, you need a way to recover from 
disasters. Obviously, you keep a "panic" 
boot-up floppy disk, but you can save a 
lot of time if you also use BOOTCON. 
The new version works with DOS 5.0. 

Sota Lightning VGA 

Making Windows work is a matter not as 
much of native machine speed as of the 
speed of the video card and drivers. A 
386/33 will perform better than a 386SX/ 
20, and a 486/33 is better than either. How- 
ever, what really makes Windows seem 
agonizingly slow is the time it takes to re- 
paint the screen, and that's a function of the 
speed of the video card. If you're trying 
to run Windows with an old, slow video 
card, forget it. 

That all changes when you get a video 
card designed for Windows. Operations 
that used to take forever suddenly "just 
happen." If you're contemplating Win- 
dows, be very sure you have the right video 
card, or you'll find yourself disgusted. 

Many good video cards are available. 
Of the ones I've tried, two are definitely 
good enough: the ATI Graphics Ultra and 

98 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 1 1 8 on Inquiry Card. 

jjoddns \pg\ ou smj 
pjBoq VSI3 papoduii 

33VdS L M3V8 09 

^i[iqpBduioa sbi| 


O. Sj 


The Only Game In Tbwn 

For EISA, there is only one 
player to consider— AMI. 
Whether it's motherboards, 
BIOS, utilities, or SCSI A 
host adapters, AMI is 
the single source ^ 
for advanced EISA 


With AMI leading the way in EISA 
motherboard designs, you will benefit 
from bulletproof performance and proven 

■ EZ-Flex— A new modular CPU design 
offering easy upgrades to future 

■ Enterprise II— A proven EISA per- 
former, popular for critical applications. 

(c) 1386-1990 AMI 


486 BSA 



AMI is the world- 
wide standard for 
BIOS. AMI's EISA BIOS provides the 
reliability, compatibility, and features 
you desire. Plus, it's compatible 
with AMI's BIOS Configura- 
tion Utility, providing 
on-site customization 
for the Integrator 
or OEM. 



AMI designed and 
developed the EISA 

Configuration Utility 
to make configuring 
EISA products a snap. 
Run the ECU and select 
the auto configuration option, 
or modify the 1/0 ports, inter- 
rupts, or DMA settings as you desire. 


The Fast Disk EISA SCSI Host Adapter, 

with a 


of 16 MB 

cache, and 


386SX I/O management, is the fastest SCSI 

host adapter on the market today. Look to 

AMI for other EISA cards in the near future. 


AMI's expertise covers the entire EISA 
environment. With research, engineering 
and support functions under one roof, 
AMI is unmatched in knowledge 
and support. Call AMI, and 
you will understand why 
AMI's ''monopoly" on 
EISA makes it the 
only game in town. 

Circle 14 on Inquiry Card 

Single Source Technology 

800-U-BUY-AMI or 800-828-9264, 404-263-8181, fax 404-263-9381 


GO — fi o 

Discount EISA boards 
have high failure rate 

Discount board has 
slow video speed 

Use highly compatible 





About the criyt 
cant contain is y 

in inventory control. Start thinking 
creatively and anything's fair game. A 
I high-security prison, 
jjjj n for example, uses 

Superbase 4 to handle 

Imagine this. 

A Windows"database that can handle 
virtually any data type. 

It's called Superbase®4 from Software 
Publishing Corporation. With it, the devel 
opment possibilities are, well, thought 

Consider bar 
coding. The 
state of the art 

the toughest inventory control problem 
anywhere. Keeping track of their 

Or how about video? Through DLL 
you can store still shots from a full-motion 
video camera. So you 
can monitor re- 
mote locations 
in real time. 
Or grab key images 


from a previously recorded tape. A 
petrochemical facility, for example, uses 

Superbase 4 to 
store camcorder 
images in a 
training file for new 

Imagine, a free demo disk just by calling 1-800-336-8360, Operator 617. 

Superbase is a registered trademark and Superbase 4 is a trademark of Software Publishing Corporation. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.© 1991 .Software Publishing Corporation, 3165 Kifer Road, Santa Clara, CA95051. 

hang Superbase 4 



What's more, 
^ any photographic or 

PjlL S^B: f § ra phic image can 
lilM? ~" be included in any 
data file. So you can dress up product 
catalogs. Personnel records. Insurance . 

claims files. Or anything 

else you can think of. 
And through DDE 

you can even pull in more 
J52K222S- familiar business acces- 
sories. Like maps, graphs, charts, and 

But don't think for a minute that this 
versatility comes at the expense of raw 
power. Superbase 4 is fast. It lets you 
include an unlimited num- 
ber of characters in any text 
field. And supporting SQL, 
it easily connects with some 
formidable databases— SQL 
Server, Oracle, Sybase, dBase, 

and DB2, among others. 

In fact, Superbase 4 already manages 
a direct mail database containing over one 
million records. It could handle a lot more. 




four mullkniRion dbllor 


A stock market ticker. A ticket sales network. 
You know, big stuff. 

And our Data Management Language 
(DML) gives you unsurpassed ease and 

flexibility in customizing screens. 
So it's no wonder Superbase 4 
is the worldwide market leader in 
Windows databases. Just imagine 
what it can do 

wLjy — mo 

for you. 







the Sota Lightning VGA. Both are easy to 
install, work with most monitors, and come 
with good software for enhancing Win- 
dows. Both have mouse ports; the Graph- 
ics Ultra cannot be bought without the 
mouse port and mouse. I can recommend 
both cards. So far, I don't have any strong 
reason for choosing one over the other. 
More as I learn more, but if you want a 
good-enough VGA card for Windows, 
these two won't leave you disappointed. 
Installation of the Lightning VGA card 

is simple enough. In my case, I left the 
hardware switches at their default settings 
and put in the card. I installed Windows 3.1 
and watched it come up at its usual slow 
pace. Then I exited Windows, put the Sota 
installation disk in drive A, and typed IN- 
STALL. The program prompts for the rest. 
When that was done, I typed WIN /D:X 
(the switch is so Windows 3.1 will work 
with QEMM). Windows came up dra- 
matically faster, and everything works very 


Flow Charting™ 3 

Now, even complex flowcharts that 
once took days to perfect can be presentation 
perfect-in no time! 

Quick to master and a snap to use, 
Patton & Patton's flowcharting software is the 
standard of both large and small businesses 
aroundtheworld— andisavailable through 
all major software dealers. 

See your dealer today! Or , for a 
"live'/ interactive demo disk, call: 

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Excellence In charting the flow of ideas! 

Works on IBM & 100% compatible PC's, supports CGA/EGA/VGA and over 150 dot matrix and laser printers, 
with multiple print densities and 10 font sizes. Creates multi-page charts, portraitor landscape, on 
most standard paper sizes. Mouse or keyboard controlled. 

IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. 

I've been impressed with Sota since I 
first saw the company off in a dark cor- 
ner at Comdex some years ago. The Light- 
ning VGA card works as well as I expect- 
ed it to. Recommended. 

Samurai Avagio! 

As they say on the news, this is just in: a 
copy of the Avagio desktop publishing 
system, a floppy V.70 still video camera, 
some cables, and a copy of a newsletter 
featuring a color picture of me taken with 
that camera at the Silicon Northwest Press 
Reception at Comdex. I'm told not all of 
this is available in the U.S. just yet, but it 
will be. The results are impressive. 

The Yashica Samurai is a still digital 
video camera that takes monochrome or 
color images that can then be transferred to 
your VCR and saved on tape or input into 
your computer through a video-capture 
card. The video pictures can be digitally 
manipulated and inserted into desktop pub- 
lishing documents. The notion is that ev- 
ei-yone knows how to use a camera, while 
everyone does not know how to use a 


The Dycam Model 1 digital still camera 
is monochrome only, but it requires no 
special equipment to get the images it takes 
from the camera into your PC or Mac. It 
comes with all the cable adapters and soft- 
ware that you'll need. There's also soft- 
ware you can port across to the camera to 
convert it from a flash system to "tripod' 1 — 
meaning longer exposure for poor light 
conditions when you don't want flash. 

For PCs, the images come out as TIFF 
files. You can transform them from that 
in the usual way, and they'll feed nicely 
into newsletters or other desktop publica- 
tions. They can also be incoiporated into 
PowerPoint displays and output onto View 

You can operate the Dycam on its own, 
in which case it's about like any small 
camera with a 32-picture roll. After you 
take 32 pictures, you have to download 
them to clear the Dycam 's memory. You 
can also operate the Dycam when it's at- 
tached to your computer — any PC or Mac 
with a serial port — in which case you can 
control it from the keyboard. 

Now there is no question that the Ya- 
shica Samurai is more sophisticated, what 
with changeable recording disks (they're 
tiny floppy disks a bit like the rather unla- 
mented Zenith microfloppy disks), zoom 
lenses, and suchlike. But the Dycam is less 
expensive and a great deal more portable. 

The important thing to note here is that 
the images are digitized in the camera. 
This means you can take this camera, with 

102 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 92 on Inquiry Card. 

14,400 bps FAX 


Caller ID' 

5 Year Warranty 

Are We Connecting Yet? 

Introducing the amazing new SupraFAX- 

Modem™ V.32bis! On the fax side, it has 

] 4,400 bps send and receive fax, Class 1 

and 2 commands, and compatibility with 

the millions of Group 3 

fax machines in use. On 

the data side, it connects 

at 300 to 14,400 bps and 

provides up to 57,600 

bps throughput with 

V.42bis compression. SllJIfCI C 

(It has MNP 2-5 and 1 0, too.) Plus its 
revolutionary display gives you 25 different 
status reports! And for just a little more, you 
can easily add caller ID and voice capabilities 
later this year. In addition to 
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version (without software), 
SupraFAXModems are 
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i compression. SUfJfCf Corporation* packages. 

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* Low-cost, user-installable Voice & Caller ID upgrades available Q2 '92. 

All trademarks belong to their respective companies. 
Circle 1 54 on Inquiry Card. 


or without your laptop computer, to a li- 
brary and use it instead of a scanner. Scan- 
ners don't connect to serial ports. The Dy- 
cam does, at up to 1 15,200 bps. Logitech 
has licensed the Dycam technology and is 
now shipping its own line of camera scan- 
ners and Logitech-developed software. 

Look for further developments in this 
field, in both digital recording cameras 
like the Dycam and imaginative ways to 
integrate video camera images into your 
personal computer system. 

Sound Boards and Multimedia 

In the past year, the Brown-Wagh Sound 
Blaster Pro has become the de facto stan- 
dard for multimedia systems. It's supported 
by nearly all the major software design- 
ers, including the game companies, which 
are currently the most important sources of 
sound for PC systems. 

This made for a real problem for Me- 
dia Vision's Pro Audio Spectrum. This 
card has nearly everything you'd want for 
multimedia: a joystick port; sound, in- 

Model IV for 386SXS 

OS/2 Driver Support 

Rent Model IV 

Windows 3 

-od^ I . IIIIHMI 

V^ Software 


Professional Software and 

Hardware-Assisted Debuggers 

for 80386 & 80486 Systems 

-If you need a debugger but have n o rtom left i n the lower 640K o f your 386™ 
or 486™ system, Periscope now has a new SOFTWARE-ONLY solution for you — 

■ Periscope/EM takes advantage of the extended memory you already have, 
rather than using any memory in the lower 640K. 

■ No runaway program can corrupt Periscope/EM because it's write-protected. 

■ You don't have to use a slot since there's no board to install. 

■ You can add a n optional break-out switch t o recover from crashes. 

■ Periscope/EM costs only $295, half the cost of Periscope Model 1, with most 
of the same functionality. 

Periscope/EM requires 386MAX® or llueMAX™, version 5.1 1 or later; a 386 or 
486 system with about 300K of extended memory; 32K of memory between 640K 
and one megabyte; DOS 3-0 or later. 

New Debugging Tools 

"I needed a means to debug 
interrupt handlers where I 
could really see what was 
going on. The hardware trace 
buffer is great. I was able to 
debug code in 3 days that I 
have been trying to debug for 

...writes Peg Sestrich with Prime Computer, 
on why she chose Periscope Model IV. 

The \ ) 


Company, Inc. 

ATLANTA, GA 30361 
FAX 404-872-1973 

If you need more than your current software-based debugger gives you, Periscope 
Model IV, Willi these advanced NEW features, may be just what you're looking for: 

■ Supports 386 and 486 systems running up to 33MHz with its ICE-like 

■ Real-time hardware trace buffer holds up to 16K CPU events. 

■ Enhanced an:ilysis and display of trace buffer makes you more productive. 

■ Periscope/EM functionality, built-in at no extra cost, saves you money. 

Just call toll-free 800/722-7006 
for details or to order. 

Real-time Periscope Model IV, shown with new 33MHz board and 486 pod. 

eluding a MIDI port for two-way connec- 
tion to a MIDI connector box and thence to 
keyboards, synthesizers, and so forth; on- 
board FM synthesizers to generate 22 dif- 
ferent voices; excellent software; stereo 
digital recording; and a SCSI port that 
should be able to control a CD-ROM or 
other SCSI device, saving you a slot. 

All in all, it's a very good system. If 
you're going to use it to generate music, to 
work with Lotus Freelance to build pre- 
sentations with sound effects and speech, 
or anything like that, I wouldn't hesitate to 
recommend it. The problem, though, is 
that Media Vision used a nonstandard dig- 
ital-to-audio conversion. That nonstandard 
conversion means that many major games, 
and a lot of other multimedia software, 
simply don't work with it. 

Fortunately, they're fixing that. I am as- 
sured that the new version (which should 
be out now) will be Sound Blaster-com- 
patible and will feature the new OPL-3 
sound chip. That's important because, I 
am told, the OPL-3 is good enough to blow 
everything else away. Stay tuned. We'll 
see. Mind you, I don't have the new ver- 
sion of the Pro Audio Spectrum, but as- 
suming that it performs as promised, it's 
much needed: a board of near-Roland qual- 
ity without Roland's price. Try it on digi- 
tized speech before you buy it, but with 
that stricture, recommended. 

One final bit of news: Disney and Phoe- 
nix have signed a deal whereby the Disney 
sound system will be integrated into new 
versions of the Phoenix BIOS. After that, 
your PC will be able to talk to you about as 
well as the Mac does (i.e., digitized speech, 
which takes up lots of disk space but has 
good quality). Before long, your PC will be 
able to have Spock's voice say "That 
should prove interesting" when you re- 
boot. . . . 

System 7.0 and Quadra 900 

We've temporarily dismantled the Mac 
Ilf x to give its place to a new Quadra 900 
running System 7.0. The result has brought 
about some minor problems. Apple has 
for years been warning software design- 
ers not to write self -modifying code, be- 
cause the 68040 chip wouldn't allow that. 
Alas, a number of older programs do that 
or violate some other published system re- 
striction, and thus won't work on the 
Quadra. In addition, many of the software- 
conversion filters for desktop publishing 
programs just didn't work properly with 
the Quadra and System 7.0. 

This is all changing. New filters are 
available on BIX and other BBSes. Many 
companies are revising their software, and 
every month we get an upgrade of yet one 
more major program. As an example, the 

104 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 95 on Inquiry Card 


The new TI microLaser Turbo™ printers* 
High-performance graphics at record speed* 

Give yourself a breakthrough. TheTI micro- 
LaserTurbos race through popular graphics 
software like Ventura Publisher® and Harvard 
Graphics faster than other printers. 


The Turbos' RISC-based 8220 controller 
with PostScript® software from Adobe® pro- 
cesses information from the PC faster. So you 
spend less time waiting for graphic output. 

Now give yourself all this speed and 



PostScript Level 2 with 35 scalable fonts. 
Superior paper handling that includes a 
250-sheet paper drawer that slides inside the 
printer. Automatic switching between HP 
I-aserJet®/PostScript modes and PC/Mac® 
interfaces f. And two of the smallest 
footprints you'll find. 

Plus, you can break the page barrier with- 
out breaking your budget. Designed for 
personal printing, the 9ppm microl-aser 

Turbo starts at $2,249*. Ideal for shared 
printing, the 16ppm XL Turbo goes for 

Quick. Dial the number below for the 
name of your nearest Tl dealer. And break 
some speed records of your own. 



* Suggested retail price. tRequires optional AppIeTalk® interface. microLaser Turbo is a trademark ofTexas Instruments Incorporated. Ventura ublisher is a registered trademark of 
Ventuia Software, Inc Adobe, PostScript and the PostScri t logo are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. HP LaserJet is a registered tiademarkof Hewlett- ackird. 

Mac and AppIeTalk a re registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. 

Circle 1 30 on Inquiry Card. 


newest version of Strategic Conquest, long 
our classic Mac war-game favorite, runs 
just fine. So does Microsoft Word and, 
now that we have the proper filters, Al- 
dus PageMaker. 

We also have a public domain program, 
available on BIX, that will automatically 
detect programs that won't work with the 
Quadra in 68040 mode and switch it to 
some mode that will work. Fair warning: 
after you have experienced the blazing 
speed of the Quadra in 68040 mode, you 
will really hate it when it slows down. 

You'll hear more about the Quadra in 
times to come. All told, the transition has 
been relatively painless. The Quadra is a 
woithy successor to the Ilfx. You'll love it. 

The Quadra runs System 7.0, and it 
won't run any flavor of System 6.0. 1 don't 
regard that as a defect. We also have a 
Mac Classic II, which has replaced 
Richard's ancient Mac Plus. Richard is 
our number four son, who is at present an 
undergraduate at UCLA and the perfect 
user for testing computer systems. He grew 
up in Chaos Manor expecting to be able 
to use computers while refusing to learn 
anything at all about them. Given his 
choice of nearly any kind of computer, he 
chose a Mac. He loves System 7.0. Of my 
four sons, one uses a PC, two use a Mac, 
and Alex understands and uses both. 
Meanwhile, my wife publishes the L.A. 
Opera League newsletter on the Mac. 

Later this spring — I think the June is- 
sue — I will devote a major part of the col- 
umn to outfitting the Classic II: recom- 
mended hardware and software, including 
shareware and public domain utilities, all 
tested by Richard and his debate team. I'll 
also look into System 7.0 versus Windows. 

Knowledge Adventure 

The short description of this program 
would be "a hypertext-linked general 
database." Knowledge Adventure is sev- 
eral megabytes of images and text arranged 
for browsing. Although this is a DOS prod- 
uct that runs just fine under Desqview, it 
has a Windows feel to it and requires a 
mouse. Ideally, you'd want VGA and a 
Sound Blaster, although it will work with 
EGA and no sound board. 

The inteif ace is fully GUI, and naviga- 
tion is with mouse-clicks to self-explana- 
tory icons. There are icons for music, ar- 
chitecture, science, and so forth. There is a 
time-scale bar ranging from 10 billion B.C. 
to the year A.D. 2000. There is a distance 
scale running from 100 miles to inter- 
galactic. You can use the mouse to move 
around in time and space. Each stop brings 
up a different picture: Stonehenge, Albert 
Einstein, Orville Wright, Beethoven, Aris- 
totle, Magellan, chariot races, Apollo II, 

and so on. Each picture has associated text. 
In addition, there are links, some obvious, 
some not: Einstein links to The Atom at 
War, which describes the destruction of 
Hiroshima and Nagasaki; that is linked 
with the zeppelin Hindenburg, which is 
linked to Orville Wright. 

Many pictures have multiple links: click 
on the spacecraft in the picture of Apollo 
1 1 on the moon and you get one link, click 
on the stars behind the astronauts and you 
get another, and click on the astronauts 
and there's another yet. 

I'd have killed for this when I was a 
kid. If you know a bright youngster with 
access to a computer, get this program, set 
it up, and get out of the way. From the 
touching story of how Beethoven, deaf, 
thought his Ninth Symphony a failure un- 
til his assistant turned him around to see 
the wildly cheering crowd, to the archi- 
tectural details of the Hagia Sophia in Con- 
stantinople, Knowledge Adventure is full 
of the kind of trivia that I have always 
loved. It is limited: there are only eight 
items under the music icon, for example. 
On the other hand, they are making up 
new databases that can easily be integrat- 
ed into the Knowledge Access engine. 

I liked it a lot. 

Portable REXX 

I haven't time to do this product from Kilo- 
watt Software justice. The language is 
fully described in The REXX Language: 
A Practical Approach to Programming by 
Michael Cowlinshaw (Prentice-Hall, 1990, 
ISBN 0-13-78065 1-5), which is available 
from Kilowatt. REXX is an easily learned 
command language that some have de- 
scribed as a "superbatch language." It does 
file operations and math (including scien- 
tific math). It appends records to files, 
prints things on command, and generally 
functions as a software robot on your PC. 
Amiga users consider REXX for the 
Amiga a secret weapon — with reason. If 
you like mucking about with your com- 
puter, you'll almost certainly like this. 

Crescent Tools 

Crescent Software's QuickPak Profes- 
sional BASIC tools are quite simply es- 
sential if you are going to do much pro- 
gramming in compiled BASIC for the PC. 
These routines either do things that the 
standard Microsoft BASIC compiler 
doesn't do or, because they're written in 
assembly language, do them much faster 
and more efficiently. 

Now there's a QuickPak Professional 
for Windows. In my judgment, it has al- 
ways been easier to write Windows pro- 
grams in Visual Basic than in C, and the re- 
sulting code will be very nearly as efficient 

and working long before the equivalent C 
program will be. Now Crescent makes that 
even easier. Highly recommended. 

Winding Down 

As usual, I'm out of space long before I'm 
out of things to write about. There are a 
zillion new CD-ROMs. Get the catalogs 
from Quanta Press and the Bureau of Elec- 
tronic Publishing for details. My favorites 
for the month are the Monarch Notes — 
all of them — from the Bureau and Apol- 
lo — everything about the U.S. moon mis- 
sions — from Quanta. 

I'm currently carrying the AT&T Sa- 
fari laptop. More next month, but there's 
really a lot to like about the Safari. More- 
over, it comes with the new Logitech 
TrackMan Portable trackball. Logitech's 
trackball for laptops beats the previous 
winner, the Microsoft Ball Pointer, and by 
quite a lot. 

The shareware of the month, available 
from BIX (see the ibm.utils listings con- 
ference), is DISKMON. This is a small 
TSR that tells you all the error messages 
DOS sees but doesn't report to you. You'll 
be astonished the first time you run it. De- 
velopers need this. 

The books of the month are Peggy Noo- 
nan's What I Saw at the Revolution: A Po- 
litical Life in the Reagan Era (Ivy Books, 
1991, ISBN 0-8041-0760-2), an interesting 
account of a remarkable young woman's 
years in the Reagan White House and one 
of the few such books that stays near the 
truth rather than trying to exaggerate the 
importance of the author; and Paul M. 
Kennedy's Grand Strategies in War and 
Peace (Yale University Press, 1991, ISBN 
0-300-04944-7), a historical analysis of 
the present by the author of The Rise and 
Fall of the Great Powers. I don't always 
agree with either Kennedy or Noonan, but 
reading the two together is an insightful 

Next month, the annual Chaos Manor 
User's Awards, including the year's best in 
a number of hardware and software cate- 
gories, and my annual orchid and onion 
parade. ■ 

Jerry Pour ne He holds a doctorate in psy- 
chology and is a science fiction writer who 
also earns a comfortable living writing 
about computers present and future. Jeny 
welcomes readers ' comments and opin- 
ions. Send a self-addressed, stamped en- 
velope to Jeny Pournelle, c/o BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 
03458. Please put your address on the let- 
ter as well as on the envelope. Due to the 
high volume of letters, Jeny cannot guar- 
antee a personal reply. You can also con- 
tact him on BIX as "jerry p. " 

106 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

AndTwo Powerful Sequels. 







Model 43V 

Lower Pricing 

rj Lower Pric 

2 MB RAM, 40 MB Hard Drive 

VGA Monochrome Display 

With 32 Gray Shades 

Only one year after its introduction, the 
Premium Exec 386SX/20 has become one of the 
most popular notebook computers today, with 
sales of more than 70,000 units and climbing. 

And among industry experts, the Premium 
Exec 386SX/20 is winning such coveted awards 
as "Notebook of the Year," "Analyst's Choice," 
"Best Buy" and the "VIP Award." 

So, you can be assured AST delivers the best 
combination of price, performance, quality and 
customer support on the market today. 

And if you need a color display, or 25 MHz 
processing power, here are two more winners to 
meet your specific portable computing needs: 

Premium Exec 386SX/25 For Split-Second 
Processing — When every minute counts, ask 
for this speed demon. It delivers super-fast 
25 MHz speed to conquer any number of appli- 
cations with ease. And at a cost comparable to 
other manufacturers' 20 MHz systems, AST's 

Premium Exec 386SX/25C 

Color Model 63V/4 


25 MHz r 386SX Processing 

4 MB RAM, 60 MB Hard Drive 

VGA Color Displav 

With Up To 256 Colors 

Premium Exec 386SX/25 gives you a 25% increase 
in performance. Now that's value. 

Premium Exec 386SX/25C For Fabulous Color 
At A Fabulous Price — Here's your chance to 
take advantage of a top-notch 256-color note- 

Backed By AST's Award-Winning 
Service And Toll-Free Support 

For More Information On AST Products Call 


book with 25 MHz processing for only $4995. 
Its bright, fast VGA display offers a resolution of 
640 x 480, perfect for Windows-based software. 

Made In America To Stringent Quality Stan- 
dards — Designed and manufactured right here 
in the U.S., our Premium Exec notebooks offer 
state-of-the-art features and performance. 

few Lower Pricing! 


25 MHz, 386SX Processing 

4 MB RAM, 60 MB Hard Drive 

VGA Monochrome Display 

With 32 Gray Shades 

Backed By Award-Winning AST Service and 
Support — We're never out of touch. Whether 
you need to reach us by computer, telephone, 
mail, or even by FAX, you can count on AST for 
a full range of service and support programs. 
This includes ExeCare™ an optional program 
which guarantees your Premium Exec will be 
replaced within 24 hours. 

Ask For The "Notebook Of The Year" — For 

the best all-around notebook computer, look to 
the experts. Their choice is unanimous — the 
Premium Exec. For more information, or the 
name of the dealer nearest you, call AST today 
at 1-800-876-4AST. 


The Power Of Choice. 

>s art- MSRP, dealer prices may vary. Awards: Notebook Ol 'Hie Year, PC Lipl'tm December 1991; VIP, Portable Office, Novemlx-r 1991; Analyst's Choice, PC Week', April 1991. Host l!ii v, /'( ish Edition), April 1991 

AST markets products worldwide, outside or the United Suites and Canada call AST International on (714) 727-9292 or FAX to (714) 727-H585. 
AST, AST logo and Premium registered, Exec, ExeCare trademarks AST Research, Inc. Copyright © 1991 AST Research, Inc. All rights reserved 

Circle 20 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 21 ). 



Apollo CD-ROM $129 

Quanta Press 

2550 University Ave. W, Suite 245N 

Graphics Ultra 

with 512 KB 

Portable REXX $69.95 


with book $94.95 

with 1 MB 


REXX for Windows $109 

St. Paul, MN 551 14 

ATI Technologies, Inc. 

with book $134 


3761 Victoria Park Ave. 

Kilowatt Software 


Scarborough, Ontario, 

1945 Washington St., Suite 410 

Circle 1 1 55 on Inquiry Card. 

Canada Ml W3S2 

San Francisco, C A 94109 


(800) 848-9474 

Avagio $149.95 



Unison World Software 

Circle 1 162 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 168 on Inquiry Card. 

1321 Harbor Bay Pkwy. 

Alameda, C A 94501 

HyperStore 1600 


Pro Audio Spectrum $389 

(800) 444-7553 

Perceptive Solutions, Inc. 

Media Vision, Inc. 


2700 Flora St. 

47221 Fremont Blvd. 


Dallas, TX 75201 

Fremont, CA 94538 

Circle 1 1 56 on Inquiry Card. 

(800) 486-3278 

(800) 845-5870 






Modular Software Systems 

Circle 1 163 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 169 on Inquiry Card. 

1 15 West California Blvd., Suite 1 13 

Pasadena, CA 91 105 

Knowledge Adventure $79.95 

Quadra 900 $8499 


Knowledge Adventure, Inc. 

System 7.0 $99 

Circle 1 1 57 on Inquiry Card. 

4502 Dyer St., Suite 100 

Apple Computer, Inc. 

La Crescenta,CA 91214 

20525 Mariani Ave. 

Checklt3.0 $149 

(800) 542-4240 

Cupertino, C A 95014 

Touchstone Software Corp. 



2 130 Main St., Suite 25 


Circle 11 70 on Inquiry Card. 

Huntington Beach, CA 92648 

Circle 1 164 on Inquiry Card. 


QuickPak Professional for 


LapLinkPro $16 c . 

Windows $199 

Traveling Software, Inc. 

Crescent Software, Inc. 

Circle 1 1 58 on Inquiry Card. 

18702 North Creek Pkwy. 

32 Seventy Acres 

Bothell,WA 98011 

West Redding, CT 06896 

Cheetah Gold 486/33 $7049 .79 

(800) 343-8080 

(203) 438-5300 

Cheetah International 

(206) 483-8088 




Circle 1171 on Inquiry Card. 

Colorado Springs, CO 80907 

Circle 1 1 65 on Inquiry Card. 

(800) 243-3824 

TrackMan Portable $169 


Lightning VGA 

Logitech, Inc. 


with 512 KB 


6505 Kaiser Dr. 

Circle 1 1 59 on Inquiry Card. 

with 1 MB 


Fremont, C A 94555 

Sota Technology, Inc. 


Desqview2.4 $129.95 

559 Weddell Dr. 


Desqview/386 2.4 $219.95 

Sunnyvale, CA 94089 
(800) 933-7682 

Circle 1 172 on Inquiry Card. 

QEMM-386 6.0 $99.95 

Quarterdeck Office Systems 


Turbo-Cool 300 $189 

150 Pico Blvd. 


PC Power & Cooling, Inc. 

Santa Monica, CA 90405 

Circle 1 166 on Inquiry Card. 

5995 Avenida Encinas 

(800) 354-3222 

Carslbad, CA 92008 


Monarch Notes CD-ROM 


(800) 722-6555 


Bureau of Electronic Publishing 


Circle 1 160 on Inquiry Card. 

141 NewRd. 


Parsippany, NJ 07054 

Circle 1 1 73 on Inquiry Card. 

Dycam Model 1 $995 

(800) 828-4766 

Dycam, Inc. 


9588 Topanga Canyon Blvd. 


Chatsworth, CA 91311 

Circle 1 1 67 on Inquiry Card. 



Circle 1161 on Inquiry Card. 

108 BYTE • MARCH 1992 




Introducing Desktop 

At the risk of understatement, Desktop Direct from Digital is about to 
shake up the PC industry. Because we believe that a PC company 
should be low cost-but not lightweight. 

We will deliver world class PCs- without proprietary surprises. 
Premier PC components and operating systems put together exactly 
the way you want them. 

Because Desktop Direct doesn't think you should have to sacrifice ' 
choice for cost. And because the only PC standard we're interested 
in is yours. Give us your specs and we'll do it your way. At no extra charge; 

Or, choose from a range of pre-configured PC packages at amazing prices. Not because it's 
easier for us, but because you asked for them-in focus groups, surveys, questionnaires and 
opinion polls. 

So size us up. You'll be impressed by our open-minded philosophy towards 
service. For example, Desktop Direct from Digital offers Multivendor Service 
that includes Apple®, Intel, Microsoft, IBM® and Dell®. 

In short, industry-leading Intel-Microsoft systems. Comprehensive 
support from a corporation you can count on. At prices that will start a stampede. 

Signed, Sealed, delivered-and Supported. Whether you purchase our ready-to-run PCs 
or design your own, your system can be on its way to you within 48 hours of the receipt of 
your order. Already loaded with your choice of operating systems. And backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

But that's just for starters. When you purchase a PC from Desktop Direct, you're 
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In fact, we've been meeting the stringent demands of 

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Call Desktop Direct from Digital 
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and Software 


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PC Training for the World Ahead 

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When your "help" key can't 
cut it, we can. Mon.-Fri. 
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Technical Sales Representatives 
put you in touch with software 
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professionals and hardware 
wizards. All with a single call. 


Digital. Need we say more? 
We don't just sell Novell 
Netware 1 " Microsoft LAN 
Manager™ or Digital 
PATHWORKS™-we offer 
our networking expertise in 
design, service and support. 

Operating Systems 

DOS and Windows™ are 
a winning combination. 
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PCs-and ready to run your 
most important applications. 

Multivendor Support 

Because in business, no PC is 
really a "stand-alone". We go the 
extra mile. Our Multivendor 
Support plan can consolidate 
your maintenance agreements 
and service contracts. We back 
the best names in the PC busi- 
ness: Intel. Microsoft® Apple® 
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Because we're about to make 
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We're SVGA- ready, so you're 
set for the next generation of 
PC graphics. In the meantime 
you get crisp color or mono- 
chrome VGA graphics. And 
with the DECpc 433 w special 
processor you'll have the 
fastest available pixel or 
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anywhere. That's right: the 


The Digital Gold™ keyboard is 
available with some systems. 


Priced to compete and win, 
without sacrificing quality, 
compatibility or power. That's 
Desktop Direct from Digital. 

Standard bus 

Someone once said, that 
best surprise is no surprise. 
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to PCs. No oddball bus 
architecture here. Just 
standard-and powerful- 
components and quality 
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Start with a system that's lean 
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ready. Plug in up to 16MB of 
memory. Add fixed disks to 
the 3.5" and 5.25" storage 
bays. It's up to you. 


Intel engineering sets the 
pace. And we keep you up 
to speed-f rom the sleek 
i386sx-based DECstation 
3 l6sx to the ultra-fast 
i486-based DECpc 433 

Intel anil 804S6 are registered trademarks oflntcl Corporation. Microsofr Windows, and DOS arc trademarks and MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Novell isa trademark of Novell Corporation. Apple i 
a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Dell is a rcgisrercd trademark of Dell Computer Corporation. Compaq is a registered trademark of COMl'AQ Computer Corporation. AST is a trademark of AST Researchers, Inc. 
The DIGITAL logo. DECsrarion. DECpc and PATH WORKS are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation. 




Taking PCs into the world ahead 


DECpc 320sx 



Resolution Mode: 



Intel i386 running at 

1MB, 80NS Memory Kit 
52MB IDE Hard Disk 

1024 X 768 SVGA 

14" VGA Color Plus 

101 -key Keyboard 

Operating Systems: MS-DOS 5.0 and 

MS-Windows 3.0 

Special Package Price $4 OQQ 

(DJ-PC443-03) lj\#WW 



Resolution Mode: 

Operating Systems: 

Intel i386 running at 


4MB, 80NS Memory Kit 

52MB IDE Hard Disk 


1024 X 768 SVGA 


14" SVGA Color Monitor 

101 -key Keyboard 


MS-DOS 5.0 and 

MS-Windows 3.0 



Package Price $0 HjQQ 

DECpc 433 workstation 


k&<*^vy&.\\\y\\\X' v^_ 

Intel i486 running at 

8MB, 80NS Memory Kit 
40MB IDE Hard Disk 

1280 X 1024 T1GA 

20" Color SVGA Monitor 
101-key Keyboard 
Three-button Logitech 
Operating Systems: MS-DOS 5.0 and 
MS-Windows 3.0 

Special Package Price $E QQQ 



Resolution Mode: 








Intel i386 running at 



1MB, 80NS Memory Kit 


52MB IDE Hard Disk 


Resolution Mode: 

1024 X 768 SVGA 



14" VGA Color Plus 



10 1-key Keyboard 


Two-button mouse 

Operating Systems 

MS-DOS 5.0 and 

MS-Windows 3.0 

Special Package Price $4 7QQ 

(DJ-PC444-03) 'j" WW 



Resolution Mode: 



Operating Systems: 

Intel i386 running at 


4MB, 80NS Memory Kit 

52MB IDE Hard Disk 


1024 X 768 SVGA 


14" VGA Color Plus 


10 1-key Keyboard 

Two-button Mouse 

MS-DOS 5.0 and 

MS-Windows 3.0 

Special Package Price $0 QyfQ 

(DJ-PC462-04) fcjOT^ 

DECpc 433 workstation 


Intel i486 running at 

8MB, 80NS Memory Kit 
209MB SCSI Hard Disk 

1280 X 1024 TIGA 

20" Color SVGA Monitor 
101 -key Keyboard 
Three-button Logitech 
Operating Systems: MS-DOS 5 . and 
MS-Windows 3.0 

Special Package Price $g 699 

(DJ-PCW 1 0-DI3) ^# J^# W W 

1-800 PC DY DEC (1-800-722-9332) 

Please reference AHQ when you call. 


Resolution Mode: 







Taking PCs into the world ahead 


and well send you 
a special system 
Or call 

and well recommend 
by phone. 




Taking PCs into the world ahead 

Intel ;tnd X()-iK6 art registered trademarks of In ci'l Corporation. Microsoft 
Windows, and DOS are trademarks and MS-DOS is a registered trademark of 
Microsoft Corporation. Novell is a trademark of Novell Corporation. Apple is a 
registered trademark of Apple Compurer. Inc. Dell is a registered trademark of 
Dell Computer Corporation. Compaq is a registered trademark nf COMPAQ 
Computer Corporation. AST is a trademark of AST Researclicrrs, Inc. 
The DIGITAL logo, DECstation, DECpcand PATHWORKS are trademarks of 
Digital Equipment Corporation. 


Company Name 





Office Telephone No. 

Your FAX No. 

If you have an idea of the PC specs you. need, just jot them down in the blanks provided and 
we'll recommend a system that's right for you. 

D Here are my specs. Now call me with my new system recommendation. 

Customization Worksheet 

Your base system is a: □ 286 □ 386 □ 486 □ Other 

How many applications will your PC(s) run in a typical workday: 

What best describes the type of work the system will be used for! 
(Check all that apply): 

D Desktop Publishing 
Q Education 
□ Design (CAD/CAM) 
Q Engineering 

□ Word Processing 
D Order-entry 
D Database (filing records) 
Q Financial Calculations 
Q Retail Store Management (Z) Industrial Process Control 

How many people work in your group, department or small business? 

□ Less than 10 □ 10-20 □ 20-35 □ More 

Is your operating system: 

□ DOS □ DOS with Windows □ OS/2 □ MAC □ UNIX 1 ' 

D Scientific Research 
D Software Development 
□ E-Mail 

D Other industry-specific 
applications (please specify) 

□ Other 


Which of the following graphics-oriented applications best describes your needs? 
(Check all that apply) 

D Desktop Publishing D Realtime Modeling D AutoCad 

□ CAD/CAM □ Animation □ Business Graphics 

D Image Processing 

LAN Manager 

How many PCs do you have installed?- 

. From how many manufacturers?- 

What kinds of connections does your PC(s) require? (Check all that apply) 
D Links with other PCs in the immediate surroundings 
Q Connection to the local area network (LAN) throughout a building 
D A line to a host system in a remote location 

What kind of media (cable) is used in your LANs today?. 

What is the networking software now being used in your company?- 
What kind of host system will your PC communicate with? 

□ DEC □ IBM □ Other 

What Kind of Service Do Vou Really Need? 

D On-site Hardware Support □ Software Support Q Telephone Support 
□ Training □ FAX Hotline 

How many of your users take portables on the road?_ 

Do you currently have a service contract(s) for your PCs? □ How many?. 

1-800 PC DY DEC (1-800-722-9332) 

Please reference AHQ when you call. 



Windows Moves Out 

Computing on the road has always been a pain. 
The problem is that the things you do at the office 
are usually comfortably within the state of the 
art, but the same work stretches the state of the art 
considerably when you're away from your home 
base. The fact remains, though, that many business users 
require exactly the same capabilities when they travel 
as they do when they are back at their offices. If this 
means that they must use Microsoft Windows when they 
travel, then they must be prepared to stretch the state of 
the art. Sometimes, unfortunately, the industry isn't quite 
ready for all the stretching that may be required. 

On the Road Again 

I had the opportunity to test the amount of stretching that 
both the technology and the industry will support during 
a series of trips last fall. These trips took me from the 
beaches of Waikiki to the cobbled streets of Prague, and 
in the process I learned a lot about what it's like to use so- 
phisticated hardware and software while traveling. 

Over the past year, I 've begun using Windows-based 
software for a growing portion of my work. I started with 
Excel for Windows because of its clear superiority over 
Lotus 1-2-3. That led me to start using Word for Windows 
for some tasks and Microsoft Project for project man- 
agement. Still, I did most of my writing with WordStar 
and WordPerfect, and that meant that much of my work 
didn't require Windows and therefore didn't require ter- 
rific power. Most notebook computers would work fine 
if all I had to do was write. 

Two things changed this past fall. The first was that I 
found myself having to create or modify presentations 
while traveling. The other was that Windows-based word 
processing finally reached the point where I didn't mind 
using Windows-compatible products for serious writing. 
With these changes in requirements and capabilities, I 
found that the benefits of having a consistent graphical in- 
terface exceeded the drawbacks, even while traveling. 

In Honolulu, for example, I needed access to Microsoft 
Project during discussions with both my client and with 
subcontractors during the start-up phase of a network in- 
stallation. While I could have carried a floppy disk and 
used a computer at the client's site, this presumed that the 
client had Microsoft Project installed on a computer that 
would be available for my use. Since I couldn't make 
that assumption, I needed to take along the software and 
a computer that would support it. 

Likewise, while I was in Prague, I needed to write and 
send my column for BYTEWEEK, and I needed the ca- 

Better notebook 
computers make 
traveling with Windows 
a workable proposition 

pability to create documents and presentations for the 
Czechoslovakian client. I can write my column using 
nearly anything, but producing clear, attractive, and pro- 
fessional-looking documents and presentations requires 
sophisticated tools. This was one area where having a 
Windows-based presentation package, such as Power- 
Point, was a plus. Even better was the new WordPerfect 
for Windows, which allowed me to use a GUI-based 
word processor that would sup- 
port the diacritical marks that 
are used in the Czech and Slo- 
vak alphabet. 

While I could have done 
without Windows on these 
trips, it would have been a lot 
harder, and it would have 
meant using tools different 
from those I use at the office. 

During my visit to Czecho- 
slovakia, I enjoyed the unique 
sensation of starting this col- 
umn in a thirteenth-century 
palace using WordPerfect for 
Windows running on a Zenith 
Masterspoit 386SLe notebook 
computer — a memorable con- 
trast between old technology 
and new. 

The State of the Art 

It takes a very capable machine 
to support the requirements I 
had on last fall's series of trips. 
On one hand, I needed a com- 
puter with enough memory and 
disk space to suppoit Windows 
and several applications. On the 
other hand, I needed a comput- 
er that would be small and light 

enough that I could carry it through airports around the 
world, that would have enough battery life that I could 
power it up for security personnel, and that would be 
functional on an airliner if I needed to use it there. 

I used two computers that met all these requirements: 
the Librex 386SX/20 and the Zenith Mastersport 386SLe. 
TheLibrex is typical of moderately priced 386SX note- 
book computers, while the Mastersport 's 25-MHz 386SL 
CPU, practical design, and exceptional screen make it 
clearly the best Windows-capable notebook computer 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 109 


available today. The Mastersport is also 
unperturbed by the rigors of international 
travel. The standard power supply works 
equally well on 220-volt, 50-cycle power 
in Europe, 1 15-V power in the U.S., and 
100-V power in Japan. Battery life on the 
computer is enhanced by the standard pow- 
er management features in its Intel 386SL 
processor chip. And the Mastersport is 
small and light enough to be useful even in 
the depths of the coach section on a 
Lufthansa 747. 

What's also important is that both the 
Mastersport and the Librex have backlit 
triple-supertwist screens with sufficient 
clarity and contrast to make Windows use 
reasonably pleasant. While neither ma- 
chine has a color screen, I didn't find that 
to be much of a problem. In fact, the Mas- 
tersport' s 9-inch screen is good enough 
that clients tended to gather around to ad- 
mire it, and it's large enough that I could 
use PowerPoint's slide-show capability to 
produce presentations. 

Out of Sgjit 
LAN Performance 

Check the latest comparison 
studies. They're saying what we've said 
all along. 

That Invisible's Net/30 is flat out 
the fastest DOS based LAN (PC Maga- 
zine). And the #1 rated network for 
all-around, peer-to-peer performance 

Plus Invisible brings the ease- 
of-use of Windows to network manage- 
ment. Turning a difficult task into a 

110 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

virtual piece of cake. As to support: for 
technical savvy, availability, and friend- 
liness, nobody outshines Invisible. 

These things are important. 
Because they help you get faster, easier 
access to the information you need. For 
more information call 415/570-5967 
(don't be surprised if an engineer 
answers). Or FAX 4 15/570-6017. Or write 
1142 Chess Dr., Foster City, CA 94404. 

Invisible. Out of sight. 


Circle 70 on Inquiry Card. 


Of course, capability is one thing and ac- 
tual use is another. While there's a lot of 
excellent Windows software available, and 
while there's finally some decent hard- 
ware available for use when you travel, 
trying to actually use your handy Win- 
dows software when you're away from 
the office could get you into serious trou- 
ble. The reason is that the licensing prac- 
tices of some software companies simply 
haven't kept up with the technology — or 
with reality, for that matter. 

Windows itself is usually not the prob- 
lem, since it seems to be bundled with just 
about every computer sold these days, but 
the applications are a different story. In 
the course of preparing this column, I used 
several packages on the road that I also 
use at the office. There are also packages 
that I couldn't legally use, so I didn't. 

WordPerfect for Windows was the easi- 
est solution. WordPerfect Corp. (Orem, 
UT) has modified its licensing agreements 
so that you can install WordPerfect on any 
computer you want as long as you use only 
one copy at a time. This is perfect for the 
traveling business user, who will use the 
copy on the desktop machine at the office 
and the copy on the laptop machine when 

With Microsoft, the licensing situation 
can best be described as somewhat weird. 
It lets you install applications on a laptop 
or home computer, provided you use the 
copy on a dedicated computer 80 percent 
of the time. You can get around this re- 
quirement if you actually carry the physi- 
cal copy of the software license with you 
when you use the software. But how do 
you measure 80 percent? Over what peri- 
od of time? Does this mean that users who 
travel a lot must have two copies of Mi- 
crosoft applications while those who don't 
need only one? Let me know if you fig- 
ure out the answer to this one. 

DCA, meanwhile, has one of the better 
Windows communications packages 
around, but don't try to use the same copy 
on the road that you have back in the of- 
fice. The license for DCA's Crosstalk for 
Windows follows DCA's outmoded, main- 
frame-based concept of allowing only a 
single copy of the software, plus an archi- 
val copy. You can have a copy of Crosstalk 
for Windows on the office machine, or a 
copy on the laptop, but to have both, you 
need to buy two copies. This concept is 
ludicrous and only succeeds in making 
software pirates of otherwise honest busi- 
ness users. 

Sadly, far too many software vendors 
insist on silly license requirements such 
as those used by DCA. Limitations such 
as those and, to a lesser extent, bizarre 


Every time JCPenney sells 
a pair of jeans, a toaster or 
a bottle of perfume, MINUTE- 
MAN takes charge. That's 
because more than one 
thousand JCPenney stores 
systems to back up power to 
their point-of-sale systems. 

Every day your company 
relies on its voice and data 
communications equipment 
to stay productive. Unfortu- 
nately, the electricity that 
powers these vital systems 
is not reliable. 

Blackouts, brownouts, 
spikes, surges and even 
lightning strikes are 
common in most business 
environments. And the high 


■ On-line and standby UPS 

■ Shutdown software for 
every available operating 

■ 300VAtolOKVA 

■ Power boost design on 
the new MINUTEMAN 
Power Master 600 

■ Automatic voltage 

■ International models 

cost of losing vital informa- 
tion and productivity due 
to power outages and 
surges calls for preventive 

Power requirements 
can be confusing. And your 
company has unique 
needs that often require 

JCPenney Co., 
Inc. changed its 
operations from 
the old POS systems to the 
new PC -based technology, 
relying on PC platforms for 
point-of-sale and in-store 
support. And they back each 

Dick Patefield, 

Senior Project 

Manager for Store 

Systems Support, 


one up with help from 

"There was a violent surge 
in one of our stores, " says 
Patefield. "If we didn't have 
the MINUTEMAN unit, it 
probably would have 
seriously damaged all of our 
point-of-sale equipment. 

"The key was 
the switch-over 
time from AC 
to battery," says 
Patefield. "It 
really has the 
best continuity 
of the UPS 
systems we 
evaluated. Also, the price 
was very favorable. When 
you 're installing them in as 
many locations as we are, the 
pricing was very attractive." 

custom solutions. 

MINUTEMAN offers the 
most comprehensive line of 
UPS systems available, 
protecting all your business 
equipment from stand-alone 
workstations to the largest 

MINUTEMAN products 
are sold and serviced 
worldwide. Call on our 
skilled professionals to help 
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limitations such as Microsoft's, have no 
discernible positive effects. They can ir- 
ritate users, or they can cost users more 
money than they should, or they can re- 
sult in a user choosing a package with a 
sane approach to software licensing. Most- 
ly, though, they irritate business users who 
don't like thinking of themselves as crim- 
inals and who don't like vendors who ig- 
nore life in the real world. In my case, I 
left Crosstalk for Windows installed on 
one of the office machines and used Pro- 
comm Plus on the road. It might not be a 
Windows package, but Datastorm Tech- 
nologies understands how people really 
use computers. 

Real- World Use 

Now that Windows works on the road, 
what do people in the real world do with 
their new Windows-capable computers? 
My seatmate on one flight was typical. I 
watched him as I sipped a glass of Dom 
Perignon from the comfort of my first- 
class seat on a United 747. First, he un- 
loaded a pile of spreadsheet pages, a few 
documents, and a presentation. Next came 
a Compaq notebook computer and a Ball- 
point mouse. 

After the airplane took off and our glass- 
es of champagne were refilled, my neigh- 
bor opened his tray table and placed the 
Compaq in front of him. He attached the 
mouse and powered on the computer. He 
ran Windows. Finally, my neighbor be- 
gan to use Windows for its single most 
common use. He placed the pointer on a 
10, dragged it over to a jack, and then 
clicked to turn another card over as he be- 
came happily engrossed in another try at 
solitaire. I silently toasted his luck and 
opened a copy of BYTE to catch up on 
the industry. ■ 

Wayne Rash Jr. is a contributing editor 
for BYTE and a principal and technical 
director of the Network Integration Group 
of American Management Systems, Inc. 
(Arlington, VA). He is coauthor of two 
books for business network users: The Ex- 
ecutive Guide to Local Area Networks and 
The Novell Connection. You can contact 
him on BIX as "waynerash" or in the 
to.wayne conference. 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 


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The Future of 
Pen Computing 

BYTE editors debate 

the issues with 
contributors, readers, 
and industry experts 

Roundtable is a forum in which BYTE editors, 
contributors, readers, and industry experts de- 
bate key issues that affect how you purchase 
and use hardware and software. The "conversations" 
take place on BIX, where you can participate in the 
round-table conference. 

Editor's note: This month, BYTE invited pen-computer 
software and hardware developers to discuss pen-com- 
puting technology. Senior editor Rob Mitchell moderat- 
ed the discussion. 

Stylus-based input systems started with niche-market 
forms-based data-collection applications. New pen-spe- 
cific operating systems such as Windows for Pens and 
PenPoint promise to widen the market for these ma- 
chines. WJio will buy these systems, and for what uses? 

DAN BRICKLIN: People will buy [pen computers] be- 
cause they can do what other computers can't — [you can 
use them] while standing up or in other situations where 
a keyboard is inappropriate. Another example is when 
you want handwritten text or illustrations, such as sketch- 
es of damage to a motor vehicle. 

Laptops and mice don't mix well. In many situations, 
people use a pencil and paper, not a laptop, because the 
information to be captured does not lend itself well to a 
keyboard or a mouse. Unfortunately, much of this infor- 
mation needs to be stored and retrieved, and computers 
would be very helpful if only they could accept hand- 
writing without translating it. Many people will find pen 
computers more natural, even with slow handwriting 
recognitionjustassome find dictation natural, and oth- 
ers don't. 

NICHOLAS BAR AN: Most situations that require stand- 
ing up and using a pen as an input device are task-specific 
activities. Initially, I see a very specialized market. 

Pen-based vendors are missing the mark in selling the 
machines as general-purpose computers at this stage in the 
game. Perhaps a few executives with generous expense 
accounts might buy pen-based machines as a luxury item, 
but we are still far away from these machines becoming 
a mass commodity. 

STEVE LIFFICK: Mass-market acceptance of the technol- 
ogy will have to wait until prices come down from the 
current range of $3000 to $5000. 

This is why it's important to appeal to today's notebook 
buyer. [This person] is prepared to buy a machine that 
runs all of [his or her] current applications. If we can of- 
fer a notebook computer with enhanced portability and us- 
ability, key pen-specific applications, and a really cool 
platform to boot— all for in- 
cremental cost — we can win 
the buyer from the generic 
notebook-computer market. 

KEN DULANEY: We see four 
types of pen computers emerg- 
ing. These are clipboards, char- 
acterized by large screens, long 
battery life, and low prices; 
tablets, characterized by large 
screens and high-speed proces- 
sors; pentops, pen-enhanced 
notebooks; and consumer hand- 
helds, characterized by small 
size and weight. 

Two subclasses are consum- 
er and industrial. Consumer 
hand-helds are "Pen Wizards." 
Industrial hand-helds have a 
high degree of ruggedness. 

Clipboards and industrial 
hand-helds are highly vertical. 
Pentops and consumer hand- 
helds are highly horizontal. 
Tablets could play in either 

We see three software 
choices'for pen computers: 
Windows for Pens, which is 
highly horizontal; PenPoint, 
which Go wrote to be horizon- 
tal but could be adapted to ver- 
tical applications; and Grid's 
PenRight, developed for use in 
custom applications. 

We see the following match- 
ups. Clipboards: PenRight for 
now because they usually have 
less-than-386 performance and 
cannot run Windows for Pens 



Pen-Based Computing: 

The Journal of Stylus Systems 


Vice President, 

Boston Development Center 

Slate Corp. 


Director of Applications 


Communication Intelligence 



Director of Marketing 

for Portables 

Grid Systems Corp. 


Testing Editor, BYTE Lab 


Program Manager, 

Windows for Pens 

Microsoft Corp. 


Director of Product Marketing 

Momenta Corp. 

Editor in Chief, BYTEWEEK 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 115 


Impressive any way 
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116 BYTE • MARCH 1992 



© 1991 Canon U.S.A., Inc. 

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Circle 34 on Inquiry Card. 

or PenPoint. Tablets: All three operating 
systems. Pentops: Windows for Pens. Con- 
sumer hand-helds: PenPoint, which is scal- 
able and horizontal. But since not many 
people know what operating system is on 
a Sharp Wizard type of product, other 
OSes could play. Industrial hand-helds: 

Our studies show that the most suc- 
cessful pen computer will be the replace- 
ment for the Sharp Wizard ([which sells 
for] under $1000). This is a highly hori- 
zontal product and generally a companion 
to a desktop machine. 

JEFF DAO: We must shake off our per- 
ception that the U.S. is the only market in 
the world. Many languages make a key- 
board look ridiculous (Japanese, Chinese, 
and Korean are good examples). Pen input 
allows computers to be localized much 
better for the world market, and this ben- 
efit applies not only to hand-helds, note- 
pads, and pentops, but also to desktops 
and workstations. A good example is Com- 
munication Intelligence's MacHandwriter, 
which Apple markets in Japan. It offers 
direct entry of over 3000 kanji characters 
and uses the wealth of existing Macintosh 
applications such as PageMaker, Word, 
and Excel. 

ANDY REINHARDT: Pen based comput- 
ing doesn't have to be synonymous with 
mobile computing, although that's the most 
obvious point of entry. There will be whole 
classes of applications developed for mo- 
bile versus mouse-substitute pen comput- 
ing. Perhaps Grid and other vertically ori- 
ented solutions like hand-held terminals 
will define mobile pen computing, while 
pentops and high-end tablets like NCR's 
3125 will constitute the executive class 
that runs 386-based GUIs. 

For networking, PenPoint includes the 
interesting In Box/Out Box feature, which 
queues up messages and automatically rec- 
ognizes the presence of a network. This is 
especially ideal for radio-based commu- 
nications: As soon as you come within re- 
ceiver range, your messages flow in and 
out without your having to do anything. 

KEVIN MANKIN: Mobile computing is 
essential to the advancement of pen-based 
software. The previous generations of 
portables all ran software developed for a 
desktop. Since a pen enables software to 
be accessible in meetings, software must 
evolve that is less demanding to a user in 
a meeting. 

Less-demanding, more-intuitive, and 
more-efficient software will result from 
software [developed for use] in meet- 
ings, and that software also will be less 

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demanding, more intuitive, and more effi- 
cient back at your office desktop. The "mo- 
bile software tail" will wag the "desktop 
software dog" for the first time. 

Pen-based applications developers must 
choose between competing operating sys- 
tems. Windows for Pens is an extension of 
Windows that works with existing Win- 
dows applications. 

Other competitors take a ground-up 
approach. Go Corp. 's PenPoint is a 32-bit 
object-oriented operating system that uses 
aflat memory model. How is a potential 
developer to choose? 

HOWARD EGLOWSTEIN: There's a lot to 
be said for writing to a standard environ- 
ment. Windows for Pens seems like a sol- 
id idea: Take a popular environment and 
extend it to new hardware. The problem 
is, if the people who are going to use these 
pen-based machines are primarily inter- 
ested in data entry, will they really need ac- 
cess to Windows spreadsheets and word 

I'm not developing pen-based applica- 
tions anymore, but if I was, I'd swing to- 
ward an environment with less emphasis 
on compatibility with old applications. 

LIFFICK: Much ado has been made about 
Windows for Pens being inherently "ham- 
pered" by, or limited to, desktop trans- 
plants because it existed before the pen. 
This simply is not so. Our application pro- 
gramming interface was designed to lever- 
age the special capabilities of the pen. The 
pen API is new and was designed to enable 
the creation of cool pen applications. 

That many of today's Windows appli- 
cations are not optimal with the pen is cer- 
tainly true. Fortunately, pen-optimized ap- 
plications like Slate's PenApps are being 
written for Windows for Pens. 

Corporate developers are picking our 
environment because of the large number 
of development tools available for Win- 
dows for Pens. Visual Basic has been es- 
pecially good at helping us create mock- 
ups of applications on the fly. Once we 
show MIS types that you can do pen ap- 
plications and do them quickly, they can 
base their decisions on other factors. The 
OS is a known quantity, and many folks 
understand how to write for Windows. 

Windows is a sophisticated environment 
designed for desktop machines. Won't 
Windows for Pens be more resource in- 
tensive than native pen OSes? 

LIFFICK: Windows is basically a bunch of 
.DLL and .EXE files — some required and 
some not. For example, the Write applica- 

201-808-2700 information 

118 B YTE • MARCH 1992 

tion is a component of Windows, but it is 
not required to run other applications. It 
turns out that if you throw out all the non- 
essential pieces of Windows — as would 
be done by the vendor of a vertical solu- 
tion — Windows for Pens requires 1 .6 MB 
of disk space and can run several average 
applications in 2 MB of RAM. Actually, 
the scalability of Windows for Pens is a 
pretty nice feature, although it can force 
the builder of a resource-constrained ma- 
chine to make some tough decisions as to 
just what files are really required. (Per- 
sonally, I'd say Solitaire is a must!) 

DAO: The pen-computing market is di- 
verse, and [different] applications re- 
quirements justify different OS solutions. 
So far, the press has focused on PenPoint, 
Windows for Pens, and PenDOS. But there 
are other OSes out there that many busi- 
nesses use, such as the Mac OS, OS/2, and 
Unix. Pen extensions to these will also 
have a strong market potential. The bene- 
fits of pen computing are also relevant to 
workstations and smaller hand-held com- 
puters, not just notepads and pentops. 

EGLOWSTEIN: At Hindsight, we didn't 
have any existing applications to convert, 
our machine wasn't going to be remotely 
DOS compatible, and we wrote everything 
from scratch. That forced us to take a fresh 
look at the pen as an input device. 

Our model was the lined school pad 
(with the big 1-inch lines). It had no con- 
cept of windowing, and making the inter- 
face work would have been impossible if 
we tried to start with an existing GUI. [Ed- 
itor's note: Prior to joining BYTE, E glow- 
stein was a cofounder of Hindsight — a 
start-up company that designed pen-based 
workstations for special education class- 
rooms. Hindsight's Letter bug was built to 
teach handwriting to dyslexic students.] 

DULANEY: Pen-enabling an existing OS 
is a short-term fix. Ultimately, the OS or 
environment has to be rewritten to take 
advantage of the pen. At Grid, we use a 
GridPad to allow people to sign into our 
building. Pen-enabling an existing soft- 
ware package would have been a complete 
failure. We had to use many software in- 
terface techniques that were not even con- 
sidered in keyboard- or keyboard-/mouse- 
aware applications. The folks at Microsoft, 
Go, and Grid have stalled all over again in 
designing the software. Successful pen 
computing can require no less. 

Next month the roundtable on pen com- 
puting continues, as participants discuss 
the limits of handwriting recognition, dis- 
play technology, and other issues. ■ 


i + yi |1 








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Without Walls 

Distributed object management systems can integrate diverse 
operating systems and applications and optimize your current systems 


To stay responsive and competitive, your company needs access to the most 
current and accurate information available. However, most of today's com- 
puting environments include a complex patchwork of incompatible main- 
frames, minicomputers, personal computers, and systems software. 
Gaining transparent access to your information means coping with multivendor 
networks, "legacy" (i.e., entrenched) applications, diverse operating systems, and 
competing standards. The open systems intended to fill these needs are too often 
walled in by inflexible applications and complex environments. 

Organizations today need to optimize their computing systems. They need an en- 
vironment that builds and integrates diverse operating systems and applications — 
essentially, software without walls. One solution is a new class of object-oriented 
technology called distributed object management (DOM) and provided by com- 
panies like HyperDesk, DEC, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems. 

Why Object-Oriented Software? 

The basic components in an application change less frequently than do the functions 
that an application performs. For example, a spreadsheet cell can be an object. 
The functions this cell supports — Calculate, Move, Format, and so on — may 
change over the application's lifetime, but the object itself — the cell — remains 
constant. The objects are extensible, and, therefore, so are the applications. 

If you use predefined objects, you don't have to reinvent them each time a new 
service or application comes along. For example, in developing an application 
that uses word processing functionality, you can reuse the word processing objects. 

Reusability saves both design and development time and reduces the time to 
market for new products. In an object-oriented system, the software is modular in 
design, so the pieces are reusable. 

What Is an Object? 

Every component in an object-oriented system has data and operations that define 
it as a particular kind of object. For example, a workstation window, a spread- 
sheet cell, and a wolf can all be modeled as objects. Each object comprises certain 
information (i.e., the data) and can be used in certain ways (i.e., its operations). 

Objects with the same data and operations are categorized into types. For example, 
the workstation window belongs to the Window object type, the spreadsheet cell 

122 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 123 



DOS client 

Unix client 

Unix server 

Unix workstation 

Unix server 



definition language 



Figure 1 : The Object Request Broker is the kernel of a stan- 
dardized DO MS and provides interoperability and reuse of a 
system's existing objects. The ORB enables client applications 
to access services and other objects that exist anywhere in 
the distributed system. 

belongs to the Spreadsheet Cell object type, and the wolf be- 
longs to the Mammal object type. 

Each type has characteristics, or attributes, associated with it 

along with the opera- 



Pulling diverse systems and ap- 
plications together and man- 
aging their communications re- 
quire some form of mechanism. 
A distributed object manage- 
ment system provides a single 
interface to manage the com- 
plexities of a heterogeneous 
environment; a uniform frame- 
work, based on standards and 
extensibility, to build, integrate, 
and deploy open distributed- 
computing applications; and a 
method for creating location 
independence for client appli- 

tions. For example, the 
Mammal type has cer- 
tain attributes, such as 
circulatory system and 
skin type, while the 
Window type has other 
characteristics, such as 
menu bars, scroll bars, 
and up and down ar- 

Types are organized 
into a hierarchy that de- 
termines how operations 
and attributes are shared. 
Using the hierarchy, you 
can define a type broad- 
ly and then refine it into 
successively finer sub- 
types, each of which in- 
herits the attributes and 
operations of its "super- 
type" and adds its own 
unique operations. 

For example, Felines, 
Canines, and Marsupi- 
als are all subtypes of 
the Mammal type. These 
subtypes inherit the at- 
tributes and operations 
of Mammal. The Feline 

subtype adds its own unique operations, such as Purr and Re- 
tract Claws, while the Canine subtype adds others, such as Bark 
and Hunt in Packs. The ability to inherit attributes and opera- 
tions greatly reduces repetition within designs and programs, 
and it is one of the main advantages of an object-oriented system. 

Today's Classifications 

Object-oriented technology has provided three classifications of 
object-oriented systems that are in the marketplace today. They 
are object-oriented graphical user interfaces (OOGUIs), object- 
oriented databases (OODBs), and object-oriented programming 
languages (OOPLs). 

OOGUIs are usually based on some metaphor from the real 
world, such as the desktop. The GUIs might include objects in the 
form of icons on a desktop that represent items contained in an of- 
fice environment, such as a calendar, clock, wastebasket, and 
calculator. OOGUIs on the market today include the Macintosh 
interface, Microsoft Windows, OSF/Motif, DECwindows, Open 
Look, and others. 

To perform actions, you select an icon with a mouse. The sys- 
tem then sends the icon operations, such as Move, Duplicate, 
Open, and Delete. These operations are separate from the actual 
icon itself and can operate on other icons (i.e., objects) in the 

OODBs represent and manage objects and their attributes, re- 
lationships, and operations. OODBs also enable the creation of ap- 
plication-specific models of real-world constructs. 

Complex systems that require actions among objects in the 
system's informational model may also find OODBs useful, as 
may systems with unstructured data requirements (e.g., voice, 
text, and video). Multiple applications can share these objects, and 
OODBs can provide many of the database facilities required 
(e.g., security, transactions, and recovery). 

The driving force behind OOPLs is to make computers easier 
to use, more visual, more interactive, and easier to program. 
Translating applications specifications to actual code should be 
easier with OOPLs than it has traditionally been. Object-orient- 
ed modeling, designing, and programming provide the tools that 
make these goals easier to attain. 

Using the object-oriented approach, you can model solutions 
to organization problems in a real- world way. Fewer trade-offs are 
necessary to accommodate systems, applications, and excep- 

Distributed Object Management Systems 

Pulling such diverse components together and managing their 
communications require some form of mechanism. Currently, 
each organization that produces and markets an OOGUI, OODB, 
or OOPL limits the number of platforms its object-oriented sys- 
tem operates on. In addition, these components usually don't in- 
teroperate with each other. A distributed object management sys- 
tem (DOMS) addresses this lack by providing the following: 

• A single interface to manage the complexities of a 
heterogeneous environment 

• A uniform framework, based on standards and extensibility, 
to build, integrate, and deploy open distributed-computing 

• A method for creating location independence for client 

A DOMS lets you build applications using a standardized in- 
terface while reusing the system's existing objects. With the ad- 
vent of DOMSes, the Object Management Group (OMG; see 
the text box "The Object Management Group" on page 125) has 

124 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


The Object Management Group 


The Object Management Group 
(OMG) is unique. Let's face it, 
trying to get computer technolo- 
gists and marketers to agree to a 
set of rules for the future of software 
development before economic en- 
trenchment dictates direction is an 

Object technology was born in the 
basements of R&D labs and has long 
had their altruistic outlook stamped on 
it. "Objectphobia" has been a disease in 
the ranks of middle and upper man- 
agement in vendor and user organiza- 
tions for years. Object technologists 
were the ones invited to present their 
views on the last day of the conference 
at 4:30 p.m. 

Armed with logic, mathematics, and 
analogies only a chemistry teacher 
could love, object technology suffered 
from a basic problem in the computer 
industry — too many people of above- 
average intelligence trying to prove its 
worth. The computer industry suffers 
from the tenet that theology and meta- 
physics are the 1 000 points of light and 
that the consumers, or people that spend 
money, are all test sites. 

What Is the OMG? 

The OMG is a technology-endorsement 
group, not a standards body. What we 
create may become de facto standards, 
but we are not accredited to enforce 
them. We don't sell software. We dis- 
tribute a specification derived from 
commercially available technology that 
has been selected through an arduous, 
open, well-documented process in the 
hope that the membership and indus- 
try alike will clone it, develop to it, or 
buy source or binary code from an in- 
stance of it. In short, we set down rules 
for object technology that will make 
software development easier, reusable, 
modular, and high-quality. 

Problems? Nothing evangelism 
won't cure. There is a fundamental 
problem found in any industry trying 
to lay down rules before money talks. 
The lack of applications interoperabil- 
ity is the problem. Period. 

The OMG Role 

There is widespread agreement that the 
OMG is trying to move an entire in- 
dustry toward the development of in- 
teroperable applications. There is not, 
however, agreement as to how this is to 
be done. 

Like any democratic forum, the 
OMG needs the support and commit- 
ment of its membership. And as in 
other computer trade groups, jockey- 
ing for position is a recreational sport. 
The vendor and user communities have 
begun to put their trust and support be- 
hind Open Software Foundation, XI 
Open, and Unix International. Object 
technology needs to be raised to that 

Evidence: CORBA, 
Object Messaging 

For the first time in the computer in- 
dustry, the consensus on the early spec- 
ification for a technology has become 
reality. Credit goes to Hewlett-Packard, 
Sun Microsystems, NCR, Object De- 
sign, DEC, and HyperDesk for recon- 
ciling what many had thought to be ir- 
reversibly warring factions — with the 
winners being the software develop- 
ment community. 

Building the Common Object Re- 
quest Broker Architecture (CORBA) 
by combining static binding with a dy- 
namic application programming inter- 
face may appear to be like mixing 
OSF/1 and System V together, but at 
OMG there is the willingness to try. 
OMG's mission from Day 1 was to fos- 
ter cooperation and create industry con- 
sensus in advance of the market. In do- 
ing so, interface specifications could 
be agreed to early on without econom- 
ic pressure. 

The Object Request Broker (ORB) is 
the most significant new approach to 
software standardization since consor- 
tium forming came into vogue a few 
years ago. The process of selection that 
is used at OMG, although it is not en- 
tirely without flaw, has demonstrated 
that technical merit can overcome bu- 

In essence, the work is being com- 
pleted as OMG is helping to solve 
many of the discrepancies among oth- 
er consortia, as we define applications 
development environments onto the 
consortium-driven standards. The 
CORBA. will be a fundamental en- 
abling technology for distributed com- 
puting for independent software ven- 
dors, end users, and standards groups 

Next Step? 

The next OMG test will involve the de- 
velopment of an object model that will 
describe the f ormalism of an object and 
its use in data management. There are 
academic and semicommercial object 
models everywhere that attempt to de- 
scribe a specific function, such as man- 
aging devices in network management, 
but no single group has attempted to 
solve the whole problem: reaching an 
agreement on a data model with wide- 
spread applicability. 

Just as we were confident that we 
could produce an ORB, we're confi- 
dent that the OMG will produce an ob- 
ject model within the next six months. 
In addition, object services for lan- 
guages, databases, document-content 
architectures, and windowing systems 
will also be starting shortly. Although 
we don't believe that this list of tasks 
can be completed in 12 months, it is 
the beginning of true sharing of libraries 
or objects among the development 
community and the eventual end user. 

Detailed information concerning 
OMG membership, mission, and goals 
is available. Please contact Elizabeth 
Jewitt, Member Relations, OMG Head- 
quarters, 492 Old Connecticut Path, 
Framingham, MA 01701, (508) 820- 
4300; fax (508) 820-4303. 

Christopher M. Stone is president and 
a founder of the Object Management 
Group (Framingham, MA). Prior to the 
founding of OMG, he was group man- 
ager and director of software products 
at Data General. You can reach him 
on BIX c/o u editors. " 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 125 


sponsored the Object Request Broker. The ORB is the kernel of 
a standardized DOMS and provides interoperability (see figure 1 ). 
The ORB enables client applications to seamlessly access ser- 
vices and other objects regardless of where they reside. To un- 
derstand DOM more fully as the solution to open distributed 
computing, you need more technical details. 

The Technical View 

In its simplest definition, an object would be the specific case 
(or instance) of a generalized software template. This template is 
just a mechanism for describing some entity. Its form is open-end- 
ed, so it's extremely flexible. 

When a template layout is defined in the system, it's called a 
class. When the fields within that template are filled in with spe- 
cific information, that instance or instantiation of the class tem- 
plate is an object. Therefore, a class describes the set of specific 
implementations or instances called objects. 

For the purposes of this article, I'll assume that a class template 
consists of a set of attributes and a set of methods. Attributes 
can be simple data items like integers or character strings, or 
much more complex data like files (in these cases, the attributes 
are pointers to those items). 

The methods can be anything from compiled subroutines writ- 
ten in a conventional programming language like C to code writ- 
ten in interpretive languages, or even to shell scripts. When these 
template fields are filled in with specific data, the template be- 
comes an object. 

The ORB and DOM 

The ORB represents the core of DOM. It can be viewed as a net- 
work operating system with one basic command, EXECUTE. 
The format of this command would be something like EXECUTE 
[object_name, method, parameterl, parameter2, 
. . . , parameterN] . 

The job of the ORB is to locate the named template (the object), 
start the specified operation (the method), and pass it the pa- 
rameters it needs. Since objects can exist anywhere on a net- 
work, you can locate them via a name service or a unique iden- 
tifier — a handle. 

The ORB also needs to provide other capabilities associated 
with object-oriented systems. While these concepts have fancy 
names (e.g., subclassing, inheritance, and polymorphism), they are 
simple to understand in the context of the software class tem- 

Subclassing is when you tell the system to make a copy of a 
template but give it another name. You can revise the behavior of 
any of the copied (i.e., inherited) methods and then add some 
new methods and attributes of your own; this is called special- 

In specializing a template, you create a new version of the 
class — it is similar to the original class but different. It lets you 
take advantage of something previously developed, possibly for 
a different purpose, and modify it to suit the new function. This 
mechanism provides the reusability benefits of object orienta- 
tion and promotes cost-effective software systems that are easi- 
er to develop, maintain, and enhance. 

A variation on this theme is to substitute a different method but 
with the same name as one in the original template. Since meth- 
ods are invoked by name, this allows you to leave your applica- 
tion unchanged yet still receive the benefits of the modification. 
This process is known as overriding. 

The ability to ovemde allows you to maintain a consistent in- 
terface while hiding the differences in implementation. This ca- 
pability is called polymorphism. 

Any object-based system needs to support these capabilities, as 

well as an ORB. So how are they provided? Simply by including 
some primitive (root) templates (base classes) as part of the ba- 
sic ORB. Built into these base classes are methods that provide 

the functionality of subclassing, inheritance, and polymorphism. 
In other words, you would use a command line like EXECUTE 

[base_class_name / subclass_met hod, parameters 
new_class_name, . . . ] . 

Using the same EXECUTE command to invoke the subclass or 
substitute method now provides basic object-oriented functions. 
In fact, by adding more of these intrinsic operations to the base 
classes, you can continue to enhance the system's capabilities 
and make them available through the same simple interface mech- 

These built-in objects are predefined classes, or templates, 
manipulated by the same basic interface. Since you can change or 
replace these classes, even the system's basic capabilities can 
be modified and extended. 

This ability raises a couple of interesting questions: 

1 . If the base classes provide the basic object-oriented func- 
tionality and the ability to create, inherit, and override classes 
and objects, how do you create the base classes in the first place? 

Have a bootstrap process that loads an initial set of classes. 
This process exists and is easy to use with something called the 
Interface/Implementation Definition Language compiler. 

2. If you can redefine the system's basic functionality, how 
do you maintain compatibility? 

Develop a standard for these basic functions and classes (the 
role the OMG is expected to play). The base classes and their 
object life-cycle methods are known as a type repository. For 
compatibility and true interoperability among different imple- 
mentations of an ORB, a standard for these classes and meth- 
ods must be created. 

Dynamic Integration 

So now you have a mechanism for wrapping (or encapsulating) 
a template around any collection of data (attributes) and pro- 
grams (methods) and treating it as a manageable entity called 
an object. And you have the first definition of a specific tem- 
plate format called a class, and all implementations of that tem- 
plate (with specific data and code filled in) called instances, or ob- 
jects, of that class. 

Data can be simple numbers or complex bit maps. Code can be 
compiled language modules (e.g., C) or interpreted scripts. 

Objects have names and can be anywhere on a network using 
a name service. You can build complex client-server applications 
by creating servers that these templates describe, and clients can 
access these services by invoking their methods through the ORB. 

If you build applications in this manner, you can move the 
pieces around easily, make changes to services without affecting 
the clients, prototype using files and scripts, and replace them 
with more efficient implementations using compiled code. 

In addition, if you develop a class template, you should be 
able to modify or add new code without bringing the system 
down or affecting already-running applications. This is known as 

The system should be able to select which of multiple methods 
(with the same name) to use based on user preferences (whatev- 
er machine you're running on that day, language preferences, 
and other cultural or system preferences). This is referred to as 
context-sensitive method binding. 

You (or the client application) should be able to ask the object 
to describe itself — its methods, the parameters required, and its 
attributes. Thus, by exploration, new capabilities and services 
can be discovered and used at run time. This is a capability of dy- 

126 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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Machine A 

Machine B 







Open Look 



of method:display 

Figure 2: In this example of a client-server application, a client 
application is running on one CPU and operating system (ma- 
chine A), with some additional object services (in this case, 
calculations) running on a different machine (machine B). The 
client application has discovered the object handle of object 
FOO. The implementation ofFOO resides on machine B, and 
the calc operation is available for it. The client application is- 
sues a request to FOO for operation calc. The ORB on ma- 
chine A routes the request to the ORB on machine B, which se- 
lects the correct method and returns the results to the client 
application. Next, the client application issues a display re- 
quest for FOO, which is automatically routed to machine B, 
where the local ORB determines the display method required 
for display of FOO on machine A and returns the appropriate 
file to machine A for execution. 

namism. And finally, all this software should be portable across 
different hardware, operating systems, and networks. 

DOM Examples 

Object queries: Data-intensive applications (e.g., typical com- 
mercial on-line or database applications) require efficient query 
mechanisms to retrieve attribute information about a particular ob- 
ject or about every object in a group. Since the object types in a 
system must be able to change dynamically, the DOMS supports 
a query mechanism. 

The DOMS's query mechanisms let you specify the attributes 
desired at run time instead of having to code their names into 
procedure calls. For example, if there are 50 objects of a certain 
type and the application needs five attributes from each object, one 
dynamically constructed DOMS survey call will return all the 

Legacy expansion: DOMSes should at least provide mecha- 
nisms for building new applications. In addition, they should 
provide a mechanism for integrating previously existing appli- 
cations and data. The encapsulation of existing applications and 
data as objects is known as legacy expansion. 

One way to provide this functionality is through an encapsu- 
lation facility that uses interpreted scripts and languages. You 
need not write and compile code to encapsulate existing appli- 

"User-centric" applications: Interactive, graphical applica- 
tion environments let you customize and adapt the software with- 
out programmer intervention. Such environments support incre- 
mental learning, discovery, change, and growth. This capability 

will be required in future advanced desktops, office-automation 
systems, and workgroup applications. 

The system must be able to accept modifications and the cre- 
ation of "meta-applications" built of component objects without 
affecting either the client code or its own ability to remain oper- 
ational during the changes. Yet the system must also protect all 
objects and prevent or restrict changes if security so dictates. 

The ability to support user-centric applications is what differ- 
entiates a platform capable of dynamic operation from one that im- 
plements a CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Archi- 
tecture)-compliant dynamic invocation to static functionality. 
The HyperDesk DOMS provides both dynamic invocation and dy- 
namic operation. 

Advanced interactive client-server applications: Applications 
need the ability to operate across a diverse mix of hardware and 
software platforms. For example, in figure 2, a client applica- 
tion is running on a particular CPU and operating system (e.g., a 
Sun Sparcstation with SunOS and Motif) with some object ser- 
vices (maybe a CAD object) running on a different machine 
(e.g., a Cray supercomputer). This type of applications architec- 
ture requires calculation services from objects and mechanisms 
to display the results of those calculations. 

Using a DOMS, it's easy to separate the object's operations into 
those that are display-independent and those that are display-de- 
pendent. Moreover, once this separation is made, the system's 
knowledge of the client context makes it possible for the ORB to 
select the correct display method. This eliminates the need to 
write environment-specific code. 

In this example, the ORB determines that the appropriate dis- 
play method is for the Motif environment on machine A and re- 
turns a Motif user-interface-description file to machine A for 
execution. The class-definition object can have multiple display 
methods stored with it. For instance, it can have one for each 
display environment (e.g., Motif, Open Look, and Microsoft 

Software Without Walls 

To create the type of open distributed computing described here, 
you need a complete DOMS with an advanced suite of tools and 
services that complements an OMG-compliant ORB. A com- 
plete DOMS bridges the operating-system, applications system, 
and communications protocol void that exists today and enables 
you to bring applications and systems together into a cohesive unit. 
Some of the advantages of a complete DOMS are as follows: 

• Your organization can retain its existing hardware and 
software assets while integrating new applications and 
solutions easily and seamlessly. 

• You can take advantage of the extensibility and reusability of 
objects to cut down development time and deliver distributed 
applications more easily. 

• You can integrate existing applications economically. Even 
large legacy applications written in COBOL or FORTRAN 
can be encapsulated within a single object, preserving past 
software investments. 

With DOM, building and integrating open distributed appli- 
cations is practical. You can gain simplified access to information, 
wherever it is — giving your company a competitive advantage. 
Software without walls is no longer a promise; it's a reality. ■ 

Herbert M. O slier is president of HyperDesk Corp. (West bor- 
ough, MA), which develops distributed-computing software based 
on object management technology. You can reach him on BIX c/o 
"editors. " 

128 BYTE • MARCH 1992 



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System Bus or 
System Bottleneck? 

Whatever happened to EISA and the Micro Channel? 


IBM has taught us that compatibility is the single most 
important attribute for a mass-market bus. Without com- 
patibility, there is no incentive to produce the innovative, 
third-party peripherals that have largely determined what 
we can expect for today's personal computers. 

The second most significant characteristic is speed. The 
bus must be fast enough to transfer data from modern high- 
speed peripherals to the host CPU with no noticeable degra- 
dation in system performance. 

The original IBM XT was shipped with a very limited 8-bit 
expansion bus. It was not long before add-in cards started to 
tax its capabilities, so, with the release of the IBM AT, this 8- 
bit bus was widened to 16 bits and increased functionality 
was added. This created a clumsy (but standard) protocol now 
dubbed Industry Standard Architecture (ISA). 

Four years ago, IBM announced with great fanfare that it had 
created the most advanced bus a desktop computer would 
ever need. It was called the Micro Channel. Soon after, a con- 
sortium of IBM competitors announced its own "perfect" bus, 
dubbed EISA (for Extended ISA). Both of these buses were 
claimed to be extensible, to have much higher performance 
than ISA, and to be its obvious successor. 

Yet despite the claims (and hopes) of both EISA and Micro 
Channel promoters, neither architecture has managed to take 
a significant share of the market. Less than 5 percent of PC- 
compatible machines sold worldwide use the EISA bus. The 
remainder are mostly still ISA (AT-bus) compatibles. The 
Micro Channel has made an impact, but primarily in applica- 
tions where bus speed is not a factor, such as point-of-sale 
terminals and data-entry stations. Consequently, the volume of 
Micro Channel add-in boards sold is still small. 

Mastering the Buses 

The XT bus was designed to complement a 4.77-MHz 8088 
processor. It did that job well, delivering adequate transfer 
speeds for the add-in adapters of that day. 
By the time the AT was released, it was becoming evident 

that microcomputers were soon going to catch up with the 
performance of the minicomputers and mainframes that still 
dominated computing. Consequently, the designers of the AT 
enhanced the XT bus by adding more DMA channels, more in- 
terrupts, and, most important, a 16-bit data bus. And they did 
this while retaining downward compatibility with the XT bus. 

The AT bus proved adequate for the types of add-in adapters 
needed to complement the performance of an AT-class ma- 
chine. The bus structure was reverse-engineered, multisourced, 
and dubbed the ISA bus. 

Both the Micro Channel and EISA designers sought to 
overcome some of the limitations remaining in the ISA design. 
First, they provided a 32-bit data path to match the newly 
emerging 32-bit pro- 

cessors, such as the 386 
and 486. Second, they 
paid a lot of attention 
to increasing the data 
transfer rates by more 
tightly specifying the bus 
transfer protocols. Third, 
they gave both buses con- 
siderable capability to 
support multiple bus mas- 

A bus master is anoth- 
er, usually peripheral, 
processor that plugs into 
the bus yet can access the 
host processor's memory 
and usually all the system 
peripherals as well. You 
need bus-master capabil- 
ity if your system is go- 
ing to support intelligent 
drive controllers, such as 
those used in high-end 



What does bus mastering have 
to do with EISA and the Micro 
Channel? A bus master sup- 
ports intelligent drive con- 
trollers, image-processing func- 
tions, and a host of other 
leading-edge applications. It 
can transfer data from a pe- 
ripheral card without affecting 
the CPU control program. EISA 
and Micro Channel both permit 
such concurrent processing; 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 131 



Signals on the Wire 

transmission line is a wire down 
which a signal from the CPU 
propagates to a peripheral. The 
simplest case, where only resis- 

tive terminating elements exist, is 
shown in figure A (see reference 1). 

A 5-volt source with a series damp- 
ing resistance of Z /4 ohms (Z is the 


R s =12.5 


z n =50n 


Near end 

R L = 250 ft 

12.5 + 50 

= -.06 

250 - 50 
250 + 50 

= 0.6666 

Figure A: The electrical model of what seems like a simple line of copper on a 
circuit board. The input signal (in this case, a typical 0- to 4. 7-V logic 
transition) is modeled as the voltage source (V s )for the transmission line. It 
must drive not only the relatively docile loads of pure resistance (R s , the source 
resistance, and R L> the load resistance) but also the more difficult 
reactive components Z (characteristic impedance of the transmission line), r L 
(normalized impedance of the load), and r s (normalized source impedance). 


V S 
J S4- 

Far end 

- N 



Near end 

-1 1 i 1 1 i i r 

1T 2T 3T 4T 5T 6T 7T 8T 9T 


Figure B: A logic 
transition occurs at 
the near end of a bus 
at time and arrives 
at the far end at IT, 
with significant over- 
shoot. The overshoot 
propagates back to 
the near end and 
changes the voltage 
there. The reflections 
travel up and down, 
decreasing, until at 
8T the bus settles 
near its final logic 

characteristic impedance, typical of 
most printed circuit board conductors) 
feeds the bus wiring. A typical Z on a 
printed circuit board is 50 to 150 ohms 
(see reference 2). The peripheral ter- 
minates the bus with an effective re- 
sistance of 5 x Z ohms. 

Due to the loss in these resistances, 
only 4.7 V of the 5-V TTL high level 
that the CPU generates will be avail- 
able to drive the peripheral. Because 
of signal reflection, you can't decrease 
the series resistance to transfer more 
energy along the bus. 

Consider an 8-inch bus. When the 
CPU's signal reaches its far end, some 
of the energy is reflected to the source, 
giving rise to a theoretical waveform 
(see figure B). The voltage on the bus 
oscillates around the final value. If the 
oscillation grows too great, it exceeds 
the threshold value at which a logic de- 
vice (e.g., a bus receiver) is triggered to 
change state. The receiver may then 
change its output value based on a false 
input generated by circuit ringing. Usu- 
ally, the circuitry will fail to work prop- 
erly, but sometimes the system can read 
the false value as a valid bit. In the real 
world, there is capacitance, not just 
pure resistance, to drive. 

Figure C is an early ISA clone's sys- 
tem clock (pin AXX) measured at the 
end of the bus. The signal badly over- 
shoots the 0-V level and, in fact, reach- 
es a negative voltage of about -3 V. 
Then the signal "rings" back to a level 
of about 0.8 V, causing most logic gates 
to malfunction. 

On the positive transition, almost no 
overshoot occurs, although the peak 
voltage is only 3 V — much less than 
the theoretical 5-V maximum. The dif- 
ference is due to an asymmetrical driv- 
ing impedance. 

The designer of the bus in figure C 
mistakenly used a very fast buffer de- 
vice (a 74F245) to drive the clock 

network servers. It is also useful in many industrial applications, 
such as image grabbing and image processing. 

The ISA bus can only support bus masters if they are set up as 
DMA controllers. This limits the data throughput to around 1 .5 
MBps. In addition, the host CPU is usually halted during any 
bus-master transaction. 

A bus master should be able to, for example, transfer data 

from another peripheral card without affecting the control program 
running on the host CPU. EISA and Micro Channel both permit 
such concurrent processing; ISA does not. 

Speed Limits on Buses 

The speed of light limits how fast signals can propagate down 
a bus structure. But today's buses operate nowhere near this 

132 BYTE • MARCH 1992 
























20 ns/div 

Figure C: This oscillograph is taken 
from an early ISA clone. It 
shows the system clock (pin AXX) 
measured at the end of the bus 
and severe overshoot. 

directly, without any series-damping 
resistor. The output impedance of this 
buffer (which should be greater than 
Z § /2 to control overshoot) is extremely 
low when the signal goes from high to 
low (the pull down cycle) but fairly 
high when the signal goes from low to 
high (the pull up cycle). 

If a slower logic gate had been used, 
the designer would have achieved faster 
system operation overall, less overshoot 
would have occurred, and the final volt- 
age would have been achieved more 
quickly. This is what happens on the 
positive side, which is only half as fast 
as the negative. On the negative side, 
the signal achieves the steady-state lev- 
el almost instantaneously. 

The oscilloscope time base was set 
for one horizontal divison every 20 
nanoseconds with the CPU speed at 50 
MHz. So, here is a bus where one hand- 
shake transaction would make a mod- 



Unloaded 2) Fully loaded 





■ — 



































20 ns/div 

20 ns/div 

Figure D: (1) An oscillograph taken at the far end of a Mac Hfx NuBus, with just 
two cards (the test card and the video card) plugged in. A small amount of over- 
shoot is present, but not enough to cause logic to malfunction. The rise and fall 
times of the signals are quite fast, and the ultimate signal levels are very close 
to and 5 V. (2) Another measurement from the far end of a Mac Hfx NuBus — 
but this time every slot on the bus has been filled. The rise and fall times have 
now been reduced by the extra loading of the four additional peripheral cards, 
and t\ie overshoot and settling are insignificant compared to the transition 
times. This performance is typical of a bus designed using the best technology 
available today. 

ern CPU wait almost a full cycle for it 
to complete. ISA, Micro Channel, and 
EISA buses require at least three trans- 
actions in every bus transfer cycle. 

In an optimally designed system, 
these transactions occur much faster. 
Parts 1 and 2 of figure D are taken from 
a Mac Hfx NuBus. Part 1 was taken at 
the far end of the bus, with two cards 
(the test card and a video card) plugged 
in. A little overshoot exists, but not 
enough to cause logic to malfunction. 
The rise and fall times of the signals 
are fast, and the ultimate signal levels 
are close to and 5 V. The two signals 
shown are the system clock and start. 

Part 2 was taken under the same con- 
ditions, but this time with every bus 
slot filled. The extra loading that the 
four additional peripheral cards impose 
has reduced the rise and fall times, and 
the overshoot and settling are insignif- 
icant compared to transition times. This 
performance is typical of a bus de- 
signed using today's best technology. 

So, the fastest time in which a trans- 
action can occur seems to be 10 ns; 20 
ns would be safe. So you can expect 
an ISA, EISA, or Micro Channel bus 
to manage one transaction every 30 to 
60 ns using interface chips like the 
Ilfx's. Thus, even the fastest bus trans- 
action will take between one and two 
instruction cycles on a 33-MHz CPU. 

Editor's note: All oscillographs repro- 
duced here are 20 ns per division hor- 
izontally and 2 V per division vertical- 
ly. Equipment used for testing bus 
signals was as follows: oscilloscope — 
500-megasample-per-second Fluke dig- 
ital scope; probes — WOx resistive 
probes, 1500-MHz bandwidth, Philips 


1. Arabi, Tarif. National Semiconduc- 
tor Application Note 707. 

2. Jordan, Edward, ed. Reference Data 
for Engineers: Radio, Electronics, 
Computer, and Communications, 5th 
ed., pp. 22-25. Indianapolis: Howard 
Sams, 1985. 

fundamental limit, do they? On the contrary. 

An electrical signal travels down a perfect bus at about 7.86 
inches per nanosecond. A 33-MHz CPU executes instructions 
as fast as one every 30 ns. Thus, if this CPU sent out a request on 
a perfect bus to a perfect peripheral, you would lose one complete 
computational cycle for every 20 feet the signal had to travel. 
Naturally, in our imperfect world, things are much worse. To 

comprehend the fundamental performance limits for buses, you 
need to understand something about transmission-line theory 
(see the text box "Signals on the Wire" on page 132). 

Since bus physics fundamentally limits bus speed, the only 
easy way to improve the data transfer speed is to increase the 
width of the data bus (i.e., the number of data bits that can be ex- 
changed for each set of bus transactions) or decrease its length. 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 133 


Compatible May Not Mean Easy 

I recently tried to install one of the 
new low-cost fax-modem cards into 
a Hewlett-Packard 486 EISA-based 
computer. The EISA bus is com- 
patible with ISA, right? So you just 
plug in the ISA card and it should work, 
right? Wrong. 

I plugged in the fax card and in- 
stalled the BitFax software as described 
in the manual. When 1 ran the program, 
it informed me that no fax card was 

A check of the manual showed that 
all the DIP switches were set correctly 
for COM3, so there shouldn't have 
been any clash with the hardware al- 
ready installed in the computer. Then 
inspiration struck me. I remembered 
seeing a press release about EISA doing 
away with the need for "complex" DIP 
switches and replacing them with a set- 
up program. Referring to the HP man- 

ual confirmed that the EISA machine 
would not recognize the ISA add-in 
card until it had been "installed" and 
that I would need an Adapter Configu- 
ration File from the add-in's manufac- 
turer before the EISA bus could recog- 
nize the fax card. 

I borrowed a copy of the EISA Pro- 
grammers Reference Manual from HP 
and, over the course of an hour or so, 
learned yet another programming lan- 
guage, wrote the Adapter Configura- 
tion File, and got the fax card up and 
running. A call to HP technical support 
later revealed that HP could send me 
a file containing a set of common 
adapter descriptions. If a card is suffi- 
ciently similar to a "common" adapter, 
then that file would have worked. 

But why? Why couldn't I just plug 
the card in and have it work? 

From day I of the IBM announce- 

ments, I had fully understood the pro- 
prietary nature of the Micro Channel 
bus. It was obvious that if I chose to 
go the Micro Channel path to higher 
performance, I would have to buy spe- 
cialized adapter cards, there would be 
fewer sources for them, and they would 
be more expensive. But I never antici- 
pated that EISA would have similar 
barriers to the free-market economics 
that have made personal computer 
technology such a success. 

Luckily, now that third-party (clone) 
vendors are starting to ship EISA ma- 
chines, software has been written to 
ease the installation task. Most clones 
now ship with installation software that 
scans the bus, looking for I/O ports and 
memory maps that it recognizes, like 
the COM ports on a fax adapter. If you 
have a nonstandard peripheral, howev- 
er, you are still out of luck. 

With today's driver technology, a 32-bit bus can achieve a data 
rate of about 60 MBps, a 16-bit bus can reach about 30 MBps, and 
an 8-bit bus can attain about 15 MBps. 

The PCXI Consortium has been formed to define a variant of 
the EISA bus that is better able to serve the needs of scientific, en- 
gineering, industrial, and other power users. It has extra undefined 
pins capable of carrying signals between cards on high-speed 
local buses. These pins can also be used to carry Data Transla- 
tion's (Marlborough, MA) DT-Connect bus architecture. The 
DT-Connect bus can transfer data at a rate of 100 MBps using 
standard 74FCT bus-driver ICs. 

Bursts and Streams 

To reduce the number of signal transactions needed per data 
transfer, you would use so-called burst or streaming data modes. 
The data rates that the Micro Channel and EISA promoters quote, 
40 MBps and 33 MBps respectively, are possible only with data 

The problem is that for data streaming, the data needs to be of 
a continuous nature. Data from a drive controller is often con- 
tinuous. But the speed of data being sent to a video card is more 
likely to be determined by CPU processing speed, and the data's 
transfer is usually performed in the slower single-transaction 

For example, a typical 8-bit ISA bus achieves a data rate of only 
about 1 MBps in practice — 10 percent of the theoretical maxi- 
mum. Its primary limitations are the response time of the cards in 
the bus and the nature of the motherboard logic, which uses wait 
states to slow down the bus to synchronize with its own internal 
response times. These limitations apply equally to wider buses and 
to EISA and Micro Channel implementations. 

I recently checked the relative speeds of a 16-bit Ethernet 

adapter card and an 8-bit version of the same product. The 1 6-bit 
card provided only a 20 percent performance improvement. You 
don't need to use an advanced EISA system when the primary lim- 
itations are still processor- and network-related. 

The Compatibility Factor 

Compatibility among the ISA, EISA, and Micro Channel sys- 
tems implies, at least, that software designed to run on ISA ma- 
chines will run the same way on EISA and Micro Channel sys- 
tems. By and large, this has proved to be true. 

In addition, compatibility implies that you can expect hardware 
designed for the Micro Channel to run in any Micro Channel 
machine and, similarly, EISA-designed hardware should run in 
any EISA machine. EISA promoters also claim that ISA adapter 
cards will run in an EISA machine (see the text box "Compatible 
May Not Mean Easy" above). 

However, some problems have occurred that have delayed 
achieving compatibility within Micro Channel systems. The ear- 
ly interface chip from Chips & Technologies (the 631 1) worked 
fine in the IBM PS/2 Model 50, but it did not work well with 
the later Models 70 and 80 because the IOCHRDY signal oper- 
ated incorrectly (see the text box "Which Micro Channel Is It?" 
on page 136). 

Thus, some manufacturers who embraced the Micro Channel 
early in its development had to redesign their Micro Channel 
products at an early stage in their life cycle. Not only did this 
reduce the number of available adapters, it also increased their 
cost. But these early problems have been overcome, and both 
Micro Channel and EISA have now achieved the levels of hard- 
ware compatibility expected of them. 

However, with the RISC System/6000 series of RISC work- 
stations, IBM introduced a Micro Channel with a larger physical 

134 B YTE • MARCH 1992 

"leant believe it's not UNIX." 

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clone, you find yourself thinking 
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November 26, 1990 

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"J/ you want to come as close as you 

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November 1990 

OVER 30,000 USERS, 

Why is Coherent now the 
world's best-selling UNIX clone? 




XENIX 286 

Version 3.2 

Version 2.3.2. 

No. of Manuals 



No. of Disks 



Kernel Size 



Install Time 

20-30 min. 

3-4 hours 

Suggested Disk Space 

10 meg 

30 meg 

Min. Memory Requirec 


1-2 meg 


38.7 sec 

100.3 sec 




-Sean Fulton, UNIX Today! 

*ByteExed benchmark, 1000 iterations on 20 MHZ 386. 
Hardware requirements: L2 meg 5V4" or L4 meg 316" floppy, 
and hard disk. 



Because like the original UNIX, 
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Which Micro Channel Is It? 

Not all Micro Channel 
implementations are 
the same, even when 
they are from IBM. 
Figure A shows two oscillo- 
graphs; part 1 was taken from 
an IBM PS/2 Model 50, and 
part 2 from an IBM PS/2 
Model 70. The two wave- 
forms, ADL (Address Latch) 
and CMD (Command), are 
supposed to delineate two dif- 
ferent phases of the transac- 
tion cycle. 

Notice that on the Model 
50 the waveforms actually 
overlap. While the same 
waveforms on the Model 70 
look more like the data book 
says they should, the quality 
of the signals on this bus is 
still nowhere near as good as 
those on the Mac Ilfx's 
NuBus (see the text box "Sig- 
nals on the Wire" on page 

Peripheral designers have 
to design cards that will work 


1) Model 50 2) Model 70 
























20 ns/div 

20 ns/div 

Figure A: (1) is from a bus measurement in an IBM PS/2 
Model 50, and (2) is from a test of an IBM PS/2 Model 70. 
The two waveforms represent measurements of the address 
strobe (upper trace) and command strobe (lower trace) 
lines and are supposed to show two distinct phases of the 
transaction cycle, Notice that on the Model 50 the lines ac- 
tually overlap, causing a period of uncertainty that add-in 
card manufacturers can handle by building in bus-settling 
delays when designing Micro Channel cards. While the 
same waveforms on the Model 70 look more as they 
should, the quality of the signals on this bus is still nowhere 
near as good as that of those measured on the Nit Bus of the 
Mac Ilfx. 

in all machines, both slow 
and fast. The only way to en- 
sure this compatibility is to 
avoid the use of the advanced 
features that are available 
only on faster bus imple- 

Therefore, an add- in card 
designer has to use logic slow 
enough to accommodate the 
timing variations seen on the 
Model 50, instead of design- 
ing a card that will be up- 
gradable to the 160-MBps 
peak Micro Channel data 

For the RISC System/6000 
series of workstations, IBM 
introduced another version 
of the Micro Channel archi- 
tecture, this one allowing for 
the use of larger option cards. 
The workstation version of 
the Micro Channel began as a 
32-bit-wide bus, but there are 
plans to upgrade it to a 64- 
bit-wide revision supporting 
block transfers. 

card size (it is now almost as big as an AT ISA card) and new, 
higher-speed, burst-transfer modes. So is the Micro Channel add- 
in you are buying PS/2 Micro Channel-compatible or RS/6000 
Micro Channel-compatible? 

Why Buy ISA Machines Now? 

EISA and Micro Channel machines are still considerably more ex- 
pensive than their ISA counterparts. Part of this difference is due 
to how much the EISA chip set costs the computer manufactur- 
er. The other part is due to a recognition that an EISA machine 
won't sell as well as an ISA system will. In addition, only Intel 
currently ships an EISA interface chip. It is expensive compared 
to the ISA chips, which are available from a number of vendors. 
In return for the higher price of the EISA and Micro Channel 
systems, greater levels of system performance are expected. But 
in actual use, this expectation has often not been met. Mean- 
while, many designers have found a better way of increasing 
system speed: close coupling. 

Close Coupling 

RAM is the most speed-critical resource that a CPU needs. To im- 
prove system speed and bypass bus limitations, you can closely 
couple the main memory system to the CPU over its own dedi- 
cated bus. 

Although the original XT had only 64K bytes of closely cou- 
pled (motherboard) memory and needed add-in memory cards to 

run any significant software, most computer systems sold today 
have several megabytes of high-speed, closely coupled memory 
on the motherboard. Add-in memory cards are rarely needed. 
Thus, bus-speed limitations no longer affect the CPU's ability to 
obtain data quickly from its main memory. 

Local Intelligence 

The same design methodology is now being applied to all the 
subsystems that make up a computer system. Vendors often claim 
that you need a fast bus for faster video (for applications such as 
multimedia). But as Nick Baran warned (see "The Bus Stops 
Here," February 1990 BYTE), none of these expansion buses 
really has enough raw bandwidth to directly transfer pixels at 
the rates needed for real-time video displays. 

Peripherals need more local intelligence to off-load some of the 
host CPU's computing tasks. This is already happening in two ar- 
eas: drive controllers and video display cards. The data rate of the 
ISA bus is slower than that of many modern hard disk systems. 
However, if you mount a memory cache on the drive controller, 
it acts as a buffer between the disk data rate and the bus data 

Even though the disk speed of the original AT computers was 
limited to around 260 KBps (the 2-to-l interleave data rate), 
most controllers now operate at the 500-KBps rate of 1 -to- 1 in- 
terleave disks. The data from a whole track is stored in memory 
on the drive controller. It is then available when the host CPU is 

136 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Who says a good idea 
can't be rushed? 

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ready to use it. This architecture doubles system performance 
without needing any changes in the bus itself. 

Enter Localbus 

Intel has defined a bus for closely coupling peripherals to the 
CPU. Called Localbus, it essentially connects peripherals di- 
rectly to CPU control lines. Similar connections to VGA con- 
troller chips have yielded a significant performance improve- 
ment over the same VGA chips on either EISA or Micro Channel 
adapter cards. 

True, there is a limit to the number of peripherals you can 
connect through the Localbus. However, that limit is now main- 
ly the limit of capacitive loading. Placing the Localbus chips on 
the motherboard very close to the CPU has reduced the inductive 
(transmission-line) component. 

Moving beyond Localbus performance, CPU technology is 
migrating toward the "PC on a chip." In that vein, the CPU is in- 
corporating more and more of the key peripherals into itself. 

High-Speed RISC Connections 

RISC processors are already operating at 50-MHz and 60-MHz 
clock rates, requiring efficient connections between the CPU 
and memory and between the CPU and peripherals. The SPARC 
Consortium has defined a bus, called MBus, that is very similar 
to Localbus and incorporates several important innovations like- 
ly to be seen in the very near future. 

First, the MBus emphasizes the use of surface-mount tech- 
nology to achieve small size and, hence, low parasitic induc- 
tance and capacitance. Thus, the bus never really becomes a 
"transmission line" (for electrically oriented readers, it behaves 
more like distributed lumped capacitors). The maximum card 
size is less than 20 percent of that of a standard AT expansion 
card, yet, by using smaller (surface-mount) components, it has ba- 
sically the same functionality. 

Second, the MBus uses a wider data transfer width: 64 bits. 
Since the bus can operate at 40 MHz, the useful bandwidth is 
80 MBps, and the peak rate is 320 MBps. 

Third, you can stack multiple MBus modules. Unlike ISA, 
EISA, and Micro Channel buses, the MBus modules are very 
close together, and very close to the CPU. Thus, although trans- 
mission-line effects definitely exist, the ringing and other artifacts 
occur at much higher frequencies and don't affect overall system 

The Bottom Line 

If you're planning to buy a Micro Channel machine today based 
on its promise of extensibility to 1 60 MBps, forget it. The Micro 
Channel may support that data rate one day, but just as you had 
to upgrade your CPU from 8086 to 286 to 386 to 486 to get their 
advantages, you will have to upgrade your system and peripher- 
als to get that sort of data rate. 

The same situation pertains to ISA or EISA. Until all manu- 
facturers design their machines using the best technology avail- 
able, the peripheral vendor will have to compromise, thus limit- 
ing the performance your system can achieve. Manufacturers 
are offering a lot of innovative solutions to overcome these lim- 
itations. Unless you are running a Unix or NetOS-based network 
(which needs blinding speeds from the drive controller), then 
ISA-based machines using Localbus technologies will probably 
do the job. 

Select a system that does what you want today. The industry 
will provide brand-new products to choose from tomorrow. ■ 

Trevor Marshall is a consulting editor for BYTE. You can reach 
him on BIX as "tmar shall. " 

138 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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The Birth of 
the Microprocessor 

An invention of major social and technological impact 
reaches its twentieth birthday 


There are turning points in the history of technology 
when something new and major happens. Something 
unstoppable and irreversible arises (e.g., the automobile, 
the airplane, or the microprocessor) that becomes the 
catalyst for sweeping social and technological changes. 

Such inventions don't come from new scientific principles 
but from the synthesis of existing principles. The new form ex- 
pands the previous one in both predictable and unpredictable 
ways. Typically, the unexpected consequences are the most 

Such inventions are frequently born out of a few believ- 
ers' struggle with those who have something to lose from 
change, set in a background of indifference. Because these 
inventions have a certain inevitability about them, 
the real contribution lies in making them work. 

You have to believe in the idea passionately 
enough to carry on the struggle, until it is firmly 
rooted in the world and has a life of its own. It is 
a work of intellect and love. On the twentieth an- 
niversary of the introduction of the first micro- 
processor, the 4004, 1 would like to tell you the 
story of the early years. 

In the Beginning 

In 1969, Silicon Valley was the center of the semi- 
conductor industry, and one-year-old Intel was 
one of the most prestigious spin-offs from Fair- 
child Semiconductor. Intel and a few other com- 
panies envisioned that semiconductor memories 
were the wave of the future and would replace 
the magnetic-core memories then in use. 

Later that year, some people from Busicom, a 
young and enterprising Japanese calculator man- 
ufacturer, came to Intel looking for a custom-chip 
manufacturer. They wanted a set of approximately 
10 custom circuits for the heart of a new low- 
cost, desktop-printing calculator. 

Intel was in no position to bid for this totally 


custom contract. The company had no in-house expertise in 
random-logic design, and it would have taken too many en- 
gineers to do the work. But Ted Hof f , manager of the Appli- 
cation Research Department at Intel, thought there was a bet- 
ter way to handle this task. 

In those days, there was a controversy about calculator de- 
sign: standard versus custom. The proponents of custom de- 
sign were in the majority. They argued that designing gener- 
al-purpose calculator chips wasn't cost-effective: Standard 
chips would need to incorporate too many options and thus 
would be bigger and more expensive than custom-tailored 

Standard-design proponents argued that if you structured 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 145 


the calculator as a small programmable computer, it could be 
both versatile and cost-effective. Fairchild had already done pio- 
neering work in this area, developing a 1-bit serial CPU archi- 
tecture, as had Rockwell, where Michael Ebertin and his cowork- 
ers designed a more sophisticated CPU. The idea of a "CPU on 
a chip" had been around since the mid-1960s. 

Since the invention of the IC in 1959, the semiconductor in- 
dustry had doubled the number of components integrated into a 
single chip every year. In the early 1960s, small-scale integration 
(SSI) allowed a few tens of components to form simple logic 
gates. By the mid-1960s, medium-scale integration (MSI) en- 
abled a few hundred components to function as counters, adders, 
multiplexers, and so on. Large-scale integration (LSI), capable of 
integrating a few thousand components on a single chip, would 
soon occur. 

A few SSI devices had replaced printed circuit boards con- 
taining discrete components (e.g., transistors, diodes, and resis- 
tors). A few MSI devices had replaced printed circuit boards 
containing many tens of SSI devices. It was obvious that a few LSI 
devices could soon replace printed circuit boards containing 
many tens of MSI devices. 

Engineers wondered what kind of a general-purpose function 
could possibly need that many components. The answer was al- 
ready evident: semiconductor memories and CPUs for small 
computers. Such CPUs already needed one or more printed cir- 
cuit boards that were full of SSI and MSI components. In the 
late 1960s, LSI arrived, and it was just a matter of time until a 
CPU on a chip appeared. Hof f saw in the Busicom need an op- 
portunity to define a small set of standard components designed 
around this CPU-on-a-chip idea. 

During the fall of 1 969, Hof f , aided by Stan Mazor, an appli- 
cations engineer at Intel, defined an architecture consisting of a 
4-bit CPU, a ROM to store the program instructions, a RAM to 
store data, and several I/O ports to interface with external de- 
vices such as the keyboard, printer, switches, and lights. They also 
defined and verified the CPU instruction set with the help of Busi- 
com engineers — in 
particular, Masatoshi 



While the microprocessor has 
made the personal computing 
revolution possible, the first 
single-chip CPUs were not 
greeted with enthusiasm. En- 
gineers who designed the early 
microprocessors fought tech- 
nical battles and management 
indifference. In hindsight, in- 
ventions that change the world 
seem to have a certain in- 
evitability about them. But the 
real contribution — and risk — lie 
not in conceiving them but in 
making them work. 

Enduring the 
Pains of Birth 

While working at 
Fairchild in 1968,1 
developed silicon- 
gate technology, a 
new process technol- 
ogy for fabricating 
high-density, high- 
performance MOS 
ICs. Intel adopted 
this technology, al- 
lowing it to build 
memories and the 
microprocessor be- 
fore the competition 
did. My desire to 
design complex ICs 
with silicon-gate 
techology led me to 
work for Intel. 

So, in April 1970, 
my new job at Intel 
was to design a cal- 

culator chip set. Presumably, Hoff and Mazor had already com- 
pleted the architecture and logic design of the chip set, and only 
some circuit design and chip layouts were left to do. However, 
that's not what I found when I started at Intel, nor is it what 
Shima found when he arrived from Japan. 

Shima expected to review the logic design, confirming that 
Busicom could indeed produce its calculator, and then return to 
Japan. He was furious when he found out that no work had been 
done since his visit approximately six months earlier. He kept on 
saying in his broken English, "I came here to check. There is 
nothing to check. This is just idea." The schedule that was agreed 
on for his calculator had already been irreparably compromised. 

Shima and I were in the same boat. Hoff was away on business 
and thought his job was finished. Mazor could not resolve the re- 
maining architectural issues that Shima promptly brought up. 
There I was — behind before I had even begun. I worked furi- 
ously, 12 to 16 hours a day. 

First, I resolved the remaining architectural issues, and then I 
laid down the foundation of the design style that I would use for 
the chip set. Finally, I started the logic and circuit design and 
then the layout of the four chips. I had to develop a new method- 
ology for random-logic design with silicon-gate technology; it 
had never been done before. 

To make the circuits small, I had to use bootstrap loads, which 
no one at Intel thought was possible with silicon-gate technol- 
ogy. When I demonstrated them, bootstrap loads were promptly 
put to work in the ongoing memory designs as well. 

I called the chip set "the 4000 family." It consisted of four 
1 6-pin devices: The 4001 was a 2-Kb ROM with a 4-bit mask-pro- 
grammable I/O port; the 4002 was a 320-bit RAM with a 4-bit out- 
put port; the 4003 was a 10-bit serial-in, parallel-out shift regis- 
ter to be used as an I/O expander; and the 4004 was a 4-bit CPU. 

The 4001 was the first chip designed and laid out. The first 
fabrication of the 4001 (called a run) came out in October 1970, 
and the circuit worked perfectly. In November, the 4002 came out 
with only one minor error, and the 4003, also completed, worked 
perfectly. Finally, the 4004 arrived a few days before the end of 
1 970. It was a major disappointment because one of the masking 
layers had been omitted in the wafer processing. The run was 

Three weeks after that disappointment, a new run came. My 
hands were trembling as I loaded the 2-inch wafer into the probe 
station. It was late at night, and I was alone in the lab. I was 
praying for it to work well enough that I could find all the bugs 
so the next run could yield shippable devices. My excitement 
grew as I found various areas of the circuit working. By 3:00 
a.m., I went home in a strange state of exhaustion and excite- 

Verification continued for a few more days. When the testing 
was finished, only a few minor errors had been found. I was 
elated. All that work had suddenly paid off in a moment of in- 
tense satisfaction. 

In February 1 97 1 , the 4004 masks were corrected, and a new 
run was started. At about the same time, I received the ROM 
codes from Busicom so that I could tool the masks and make 
the production 4001s for the first calculator. 

By mid-March 1 97 1 , 1 shipped full kits of components to Busi- 
com, where Shima verified that his calculator worked properly. 
Each kit consisted of a 4004, two 4002s, four 4001s, and two 
4003s. It took a little less than one year to go from the idea to a 
fully working product. 

Now that the first microprocessor was a reality, I thought that 
the chip could be used for many other applications. Unfortu- 
nately, Intel's management disagreed, thinking that the 4000 
family was good only for calculators. Furthermore, the 4000 

146 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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family had been designed under an exclusive contract. It could not 
be announced or sold to anyone but Busicom. 

The opportunity to prove that the 4000 family was good for 
other applications came when the need for a production tester 
arose. The tester was clearly not a calculator application, so I 
decided to use the 4004 as the tester's main controller. In that pro- 
ject, I gained considerable insight into what could and could not 
be done with the 4000 family. When the tester was successfully 
completed, I had additional ammunition to convincingly lobby for 
the 4000 family's introduction. 

I urged Robert Noyce, then president of Intel, to market the 
4004. 1 suggested that perhaps Intel could trade some price con- 
cessions for nonexclusivity. (I had heard from Shima that Busi- 
com was hurting in the marketplace and needed a lower price to 
effectively compete.) Noyce succeeded in obtaining nonexclu- 
sivity from Busicom for the 4004 for applications other than cal- 
culators. Shortly after that, in mid- 1971, Intel decided to market 
the 4000 family. 

In November 1 97 1 , the 4000 family, now known as MCS-4 (for 
Microcomputer System 4-bit), was officially introduced with an 
advertisement in major trade publications. The main caption 
read, "Announcing a new era of integrated electronics" — a very 
prophetic ad. 

A Younger but Brighter Sibling 

In 1969, Computer Terminal Corp. (now Datapoint) visited Intel. 
Vic Poor, vice president of R&D at CTC, wanted to integrate 
the CPU (about 100 TTL components) of CTC's new intelligent 
terminal, the Datapoint 2200, into a few chips and reduce the 
cost and size of the electronics. 

Hoff looked at the architecture, the instruction set, and the 
CTC logic design and estimated that Intel could integrate it all on 
a single chip, so Intel and CTC entered into a contract to de- 
velop the chip. The Datapoint CPU chip, internally called the 
1201 , was an 8-bit device. Intended for intelligent terminal ap- 
plications, it was more complex than the 4004. 

The 1201 looked like it would be the first microprocessor to 
come out, since its design was started first, and I had four chips 
to design, the CPU being the last. I was a bit disappointed, but I 
had enough to worry about. However, after a few months of 
work on the 1201, the designer, Hal Feeney, was asked to design 
a memory chip, and the CTC project was put on ice. 

In the meantime, CTC had also commissioned Texas Instru- 
ments to do the same chip design as an alternative source. At 
the end of 1970, Intel resumed the 1201 project under my direc- 
tion, and Feeney was reassigned to it. 

Early in June 1971, TI ran an advertisement in Electronics 
describing its MOS LSI capabilities. A picture of a complex IC 
with the caption "CPU on a chip" accompanied a description of 
TI's custom circuit for the Datapoint 2200. The ad continued, 
"TI developed and is producing it for Computer Terminal 
Corp...." and gave the chip's vital statistics. The dimensions 
were 215 mils by 225 mils, a huge chip even for 1971 technol- 
ogy and 225 percent larger than Intel's estimate for the 1201. 

The TI chip, however, never worked and was never marketed. 
It faded away, not to be heard from again until TI's current legal 
battles. Surprisingly, TI patented the architecture of the 1201, 
which was Datapoint's architecture with Intel's inputs, and now 
asserts broad rights on the microprocessor. TI might have been the 
first company to announce the microprocessor, but making it 
work was the trick. 

An invention requires a reduction to practice, not just an idea. 
And in 1990, the U.S. Patent Office awarded a patent to Gilbert 
Hyatt for the invention of the microcomputer chip (about 20 
years after his original filing date). News of the award took the in- 

148 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

dustry by surprise because Patent Office proceedings are secret 
and Hyatt wasn't widely known. While Hyatt was said to have 
built a breadboard prototype implementation (using convention- 
al components) of his microprocessor architecture, no single- 
chip implementation was ever produced. Again, this idea was 
not reduced to practice. For more information on this, see "Micro, 
Micro: Who Made the Micro?," January 1991 BYTE. 

What Gilbert Hyatt, TI, and others failed to do, Intel did: It 
made the first microprocessor work — at a low cost and in volume 
production. It took vision, guts, and lots of work to bring to mar- 
ket a product that was different from all the others, a product 
that required lots of customer training, support, and groundwork. 
Intel did it, taking a big risk at a time when it was still small and 
could ill afford to fail. 

Three critical tasks had to be performed before the idea of the 
microprocessor could take root. First, the production technology 
of the time had to economically implement a useful architecture. 
Second, someone had to design, develop, and bring the chip to 
production with sufficiently low manufacturing costs. And third, 
the microprocessor had to be made available to the general mar- 
ket. This last task required a true belief in the device and its abil- 
ity to transform hardware design. 

During the summer of 1971, as work on the 1201 was pro- 
gressing nicely, Datapoint decided that it didn't want the 1201 
anymore. The economic recession of 1970 had brought the price 
of TTL down to where the 1201 was no longer attractive. How- 
ever, because Seiko of Japan had expressed an interest in it, In- 
tel decided to continue with the project. Datapoint agreed to let In- 
tel use its architecture in exchange for canceling the development 
charges. Intel was free to commercialize the 1201 as a proprietary 

Designed after the 4004, the 1201 was not too difficult a proj- 
ect. Architecturally, the 1201 was very similar to the 4004 — de- 
spite the 1201 's being an 8-bit CPU — and many of the design so- 
lutions used in the 4004 readily applied to the 1 20 1 . There was 
only one bad moment. 

Intel was all set to introduce the 1201 (later renamed the 8008) 
when I discovered some intermittent failures. It took me a fever- 
ish week to solve the problem. It was a nasty one, at the crossroads 
of device physics, circuit design, and layout: The charge stored in 
the gate of the transistors in the register file was leaking away due 
to substrate injection. I had to modify the circuit and the layout to 
fix the problem. 

Making the Sale 

To use a microprocessor, you first had to visualize a problem as 
a computer program and then write and debug it in some kind of 
hardware-simulation environment before committing the pro- 
gram to ROM. Fortunately, Intel had just developed the 1 701 , the 
first EPROM to use a floating polysilicon gate as the storage 

The 1 70 1 was a 2-Kb device programmable with special hard- 
ware and erasable with ultraviolet light. Introduced six months ear- 
lier than the 1201, the 1701 was a solution looking for a problem. 
However, it made possible the development of a board that you 
could use to develop, run, and debug software for the MCS-4. 

Microprocessors required much more marketing effort than 
conventional components. A typical component would have a 
6- to 10-page data sheet, and that was all. The MCS-4 had the data 
sheets, a programming manual, applications notes showing how 
to use the components, a development board capable of imple- 
menting a functional prototype of the hardware, and a cross as- 
sembler (i.e., a program running on a minicomputer that allowed 
the conversion from instruction mnemonics into machine lan- 




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All this paraphernalia required a lot more knowledge, com- 
plexity, and cost than the semiconductor industry was prepared to 
handle. In addition, the engineers had to fundamentally change 
their approach to hardware design. With the microprocessor, you 
had to visualize problems in terms of software. This was the 
hardest obstacle of all. 

In April 1972, Intel introduced the 8008, with a group of sup- 
porting chips, as a family of products called the MCS-8. The 
supporting chips were standard Intel products with the names 
changed. MCS-8 looked impressive, and market interest was 
high, but sales were slow. 

Customers needed more than the simple design aids that Intel 
offered; they needed far more hardware and software tools, train- 
ing, and applications support than had been anticipated. So Intel 
provided them with a variety of software and hardware design aids 
and fostered a massive engineer training program carried out by 
external consultants. 

Then the idea of a development system arose, and Intel's man- 
agement decided to commit the company in that direction. The de- 
velopment system is a self-contained computer specialized for de- 
veloping and debugging microprocessor software. A year after the 
microprocessor introduction, Intel was receiving more revenues 
from development systems than from microprocessor chips. 

The Real Hotshot 

Late in the summer of 1 97 1 , 1 went to Europe to give a series of 
technical seminars on the MCS-4 and the 8008 and to visit cus- 
tomers. It was an important experience. I received a fair amount 
of criticism — some of it valid — about the architecture and per- 
formance of the microprocessors. The more computer-oriented the 
company I visited was, the nastier people's comments were. 

When I returned home, I had an idea of how to make a better 
8-bit microprocessor than the 8008, incorporating many of the fea- 
tures that people wanted: most important, speed and ease of in- 
terfacing. I could have boosted both of these features if I had 
used a 40-pin package instead of the 8008 's 1 8-pin package and 
integrated the functions of the support chips. Feeney and I had 
wanted to do that with the 1 20 1 , but Intel policy required 1 6-, 
1 8-, and, on exception, 24-pin packages. 

Using the new /i-channel process being developed for 4-Kb 
DRAM would also improve speed and ease of interfacing. I also 
wanted to make several functional improvements: abetter inter- 
rupt structure, more memory addressability, and additional in- 

By early 1972, 1 started lobbying for the new chip. However, 
Intel management wanted to see how the market would respond 
to the MCS-4 and, later, to the MCS-8 introduction before com- 
mitting more resources. I thought we were wasting time. I had al- 
ready asked Shima to come to California from Japan to work for 
me, and visa formalities were under way. 

In the summer of 1972, the decision came to go ahead with the 
new project. I finished the architecture and design feasibility so 
that my coworkers and I could go full steam when Shima ar- 
rived in November. 

The first run of the new microprocessor, the 8080, came in 
December 1973. My coworkers and I corrected a few minor er- 
rors, and Intel introduced the product in March 1974. After that, 
Intel was clearly the leading microprocessor supplier, although 
other companies had competing products. 

In 1972, Rockwell announced the PPS-4 (similar to the MCS- 
4 but packaged in 42-pin packages). The PPS-4 used four- 
phase design techniques and metal-gate MOS technology and 
achieved about the same speed as the MCS-4, thanks to a more 
parallel operation. Rockwell engineers stemmed the limitations 
of metal-gate MOS technology for a while, but the PPS-8, in- 

troduced after the 8080, was no match for it. 

The only serious competition for Intel came from Motorola. 
Motorola's product, the 6800, used MOS silicon-gate technol- 
ogy and was introduced about six months after Intel's 8080. In 
many ways, the 6800 was a better product. However, the com- 
bination of timing, more aggressive marketing, availability of 
better software and hardware tools, and product manufacturabil- 
ity — the 8080 chip size was much smaller than the 6800's — 
gave Intel the lead. 

The 8080 really created the microprocessor market. The 4004 
and 8008 suggested it, but the 8080 made it real. For the first 
time, several applications that were not possible with prior mi- 
croprocessors became practical. The 8080 was immediately used 
in hundreds of different products. The microprocessor had come 
of age. 

A New Challenge 

By the summer of 1974, 1 had grown restless. From the beginning, 
I had led all the microprocessor development activity at Intel, 
and, with time, I was responsible for all the MOS chip-design ac- 
tivity, except that on DRAMs. Intel had grown into a large com- 
pany, and I found the environment stifling. So, with Ralph Unger- 
mann, one of my managers, I decided to start a company that, 
unlike Intel, would be totally dedicated to the microprocessor 

In November 1974, Zilog was founded, and a little more than 
a year later, the Z80 CPU, the first member of the Z80 family, was 
born. I had the idea for the Z80 in December 1 974. It had to be a 
family of components designed to work seamlessly together and 
able to grow. It had to be totally compatible with the 8080 at the 
machine-instruction level and yet incorporate many more fea- 
tures, registers, and instructions. 

After I completed the architecture and the design feasibility and 
after the financing was arranged, Shima joined Zilog to do the de- 
tailed design. By early 1 976, the Z80 was a reality, and the de- 
mands of my job as president of Zilog had put an end to my en- 
gineering career. The Z80 was extremely successful, surpassing 
my wildest expectations, and Zilog became a major competitor of 

The Z80 was a good product, but its timing was also lucky. The 
significance of the microprocessor was becoming evident. Com- 
puter clubs were sprouting up throughout the U.S. The number of 
young computer enthusiasts was increasing rapidly, and with 
them came an enormous amount of creative energy, enthusiasm, 
and exuberance. That milieu was the breeding ground of the per- 
sonal computer, the product that popularized the microprocessor. 

The personal computer is one example of the unpredictable 
consequences of a major new technology. Of course, we knew in 
1 97 1 that we could buy a little computer that would fit on a desk, 
but it is the personal computer as a socioeconomic phenomenon 
rather than as a feat of engineering that was a suiprise to me. 

By 1977, microprocessors were firmly planted in the world 
and were becoming part of the fabric of everyday technology. 
From that point on, it became a matter of building faster, big- 
ger, better, less expensive microprocessors. And the industry has 
done just that. Fueling this process is the continuing improvement 
in semiconductor processing technology, the source of the mi- 
croelectronics revolution. ■ 

Federico Faggin conceived, designed, and code signed many of the 
earliest microprocessors, including the Intel 4004, 8008, 4040, 
and 8080, as well as the Zilog Z80. He is cofounder and president 
of Synaptics (San Jose, CA), a company that is dedicated to the 
creation of hardware for neural networks and other machine- 
learning applications. You can reach him on BIX do "editors" 

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Still the most popular language on microcomputers, BASIC has made considerable changes over the years 


This six-part series, which has considered languages that 
have stood the test of time, would not be complete 
without presenting BASIC (for Beginner's All-pur- 
pose Symbolic Instruction Code). However, as BYTE 
readers have been kept up to date on changes over the years, 
the discussion will be brief. I want to reserve some space for 
taking a stab at a question posed by Russell Brown, a mathe- 
matician now retired from the U.S. Naval Research Lab, who 
asked, "But why so many different languages?" 

BASIC Beginnings 

BASIC, which is undoubtedly the most popular computer 
language, is bundled with virtually every microcomputer sold. 
It was developed in 1 964 by two Dartmouth professors, John 
Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. They noticed that most decision 
makers in business and government are nonscientists and that 
their decisions dramatically affect the worlds of work and 
public affairs. They wondered how sensible decisions about 
computing and its use could be made by people essentially ig- 
norant of the subject. They agreed that you can no more learn 
computing by listening only to lectures and having no com- 
puter than you can learn to drive a car by using only a manu- 
al and having no car. 

Two problems needed to be overcome. First was the inac- 
cessibility of computers, which ran in batch mode from punch 
cards; second was the need for a language that was easier to 
learn than the highly mathematical FORTRAN. BASIC, with 
its accompanying time-share system, solved both problems. It 
operated then, as now, as a desktop calculator, where you 
could enter 


and get an immediate answer, or as a programming language, 
with which you could write and save complete programs. 
Early BASIC was interpreted; now, newer versions can be 
compiled as well. 
BASIC'S detractors were powerful and vociferous, with 

perhaps the most damaging charge coming in 1975 from Eds- 
ger Dijkstra: "It is practically impossible to teach good pro- 
gramming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: 
As potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated be- 
yond the hope of regeneration." It was the much-maligned 
GOTO as the principal control structure that led to such strong 
condemnation. And I must agree that such was my experi- 
ence during the late 1970s. Converting a gung-ho high school 
BASIC hacker to structured programming when GOTOs work 
just fine is hard indeed. 

Dartmouth BASIC was never copyrighted or standardized, 
so different versions that took advantage of various micro- 
computer features became available from almost every soft- 
ware developer. These included BASEX, Integer BASIC, 
BAZIC, BASIC-09, Better BASIC, Professional BASIC, 
Macintosh BASIC, Microsoft BASIC, Applesoft BASIC, 
standardized ANSI Minimal BASIC in 1978 (so minimal that 
it was almost totally ignored by the industry). 

What's New? 

Kemeny and Kurtz 
found this proliferation 
appalling and dubbed 
these horrible dialects 
of such a beautiful lan- 
guage "Street BASIC." 
They thus formed a cor- 
poration in the early 
1980s and developed 
True BASIC, a version 
that meets the ANSI 
and ISO standard. A 
True BASIC program 
will run on any ma- 
chine that supports an 
ANSI BASIC system. Its 



Even though BASIC has hum- 
ble roots and a reputation for 
supporting poor programming 
practices, it has evolved more 
than any other classic lan- 
guage. The plethora of versions 
have coalesced into a few real 


MARCH 1992 • BYTE 155 


Listing 1: True BASIC'S syntax for 

writing program 


MODULE name 

PUBLIC var 1, . . . f arrayl (size) , ... 

! global variables 

PRIVATE routinel, . . . 

! local variables 

SHARE varl, . . . 

! shared in 

! procedures 


!the module 


! initialization 

! code 



Listing 2: True BASIC code that sorts a list of student 
names in descending order according to their grade- 
point average (from True BASIC by Problem Solving 
by Brian D. Hahn [Weinheim, Germany: VCH, 1988, p. 

DIM List (100) 

! order of merit list 

DIM Mark (100) 


DIM Names$(100) 

! names in original order 

LET N = 

! counter 


LET N = N + 1 

READ Name$ (N) , Mark (N) 

LET List(N) = N 

Unitialize the list 


LET K = 


! outer loop of bubble 


LET Swaps = 

! number of exchanges 

!per pass 
LET K = K + 1 ! count the passes 

FOR J = 1 TO N - K ! count the tests 
IF Mark (List (J) ) < Mark (List (J+l) ) THEN 
LET Temp - List (J) 
LET List (J) = List (J + 1) 
LET List (J+l) - Temp 
LET Swaps = Swaps + 1 
LOOP UNTIL Swaps - !must be sorted then 

FOR K = 1 to N 

PRINT USING "<#########" :Name$ (List (K) ) 

PRINT USING vv ###": Mark (List (K) ) 

DATA Alice, 54 
DATA Brian, 30 
DATA Charles, 100 
DATA Debby, 47 
DATA Ethel, 78 

compiler has two windows: an editing window, where you can 
write and edit programs, and a history (or command) window, 
where you can run programs and interact with them. 

Programming language concepts have developed since the 
1970s, along with new languages that implement the new concepts 
as well as take advantage of improvements in hardware. BASIC 
has changed also, and the two leading implementations are True 
BASIC and QuickBasic from Microsoft. 

When BASIC was first developed, notions of structured pro- 
gramming were mostly in the paper-and-pencil stage. Structured 
code reflects in appearance a program's organization. Notions 
of structure include blocks, where data can be localized, and data 
structures, such as arrays, records, and lists, to name only a few. 
The new BASICs include structured features such as IF... 
WHILE. . . LOOP, DO. . . LOOP UNTIL, and various CASE state- 
ments. They also support graphics, matrix-handling functions, 
and internal and external functions and procedures. Line numbers 
are optional, and you can insert or delete them using the menu bar. 

Another concept implemented in modern high-level languages 
is modularization, where data and related procedures can be bun- 
dled together, with some features kept hidden from a user. True 
BASIC has added this feature in the form shown in listing 1. 
QuickBasic's version calls global variables COMMON, local 
variables STATIC, and shared variables SHARED. 

You can save modules and collections of BASIC code in files 
and include them in other programs with the INCLUDE statement, 
or you can store procedures and functions in a library, from 
which you can bring them into a program with the CALL state- 
ment. You can save and distribute compiled code in .EXE files, 
so developers can sell their software without source code. 

But True BASIC has been kept lean in keeping with its de- 
signers' philosophy of simplicity. This is not so with Microsoft's 
candidates, QuickBasic and Visual Basic for Windows. Mi- 
crosoft's president, Bill Gates, wants QuickBasic to replace Pas- 
cal as the language of choice for high schools. Thus it includes 
user-defined data types in the form of records. It makes no attempt 
to adhere to the ANSI/ISO standard but takes full advantage of the 
DOS environment. Visual Basic, an attempt to make Windows 
programming easy, includes icons that can be designed into the 
user interface as well as used while writing BASIC code. 

As an example of the different capabilities of True BASIC and 
QuickBasic, the programs in listing 2 (True BASIC) and listing 
3 (QuickBasic) sort a list of student names in descending order ac- 
cording to their grade-point average. There are several things to 
notice in these two versions for sorting an array of "pointers" to 
fixed array elements. First is that neither version has true point- 
ers that contain memory addresses. An array, called List or 
Rank, keeps track of the array location instead. Second is the 
existence of record types in QuickBasic. Third is the built-in 
Swap function in QuickBasic, which has to be programmed in 
True BASIC. 

You may wonder why I changed the name of the True BASIC 
List array to Rank in the QuickBasic version. Well, it turns 
out that List is a keyword in QuickBasic that lets you reassign 
function keys in the DOS system. Lots of things like that show up. 
But if you're wedded to DOS, you'll learn all these keywords 
quickly enough. 

There are advantages to strong typing and variable declara- 
tions, as in Pascal and Ada. It is very hard for inexperienced pro- 
grammers to detect errors in BASIC. Maybe BASIC is for ex- 
perienced programmers like Art Ramirez (whom I will discuss in 
a moment) or those who want little more than a fancy calculator, 
and the strongly typed languages are better for beginning pro- 


156 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


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„ ^ ^ r ^ For IBM/co mpatible information circle 1 25; 

©1991 SYSTAT. Inc. Software Digest is a registered trademark of NSTL. Inc. Fof Macinf osh inforrnafion , circle , 26 on Inquiry Card. 


I user-defined 
I record type 

Listing 3: The QuickBasic equivalent of the program in 
listing 2. 


DATA Alice, 54 
DATA Brian, 30 
DATA Charles, 100 
DATA Debby, 47 
DATA Ethel, 78: 
TYPE Student 

FirstName AS STRING * 9 

READ Size% 
' $DYNAMIC ! arrays to follow 

! are dynamic 
DIM Class (1 TO Size%) AS Student Ityped array 
DIM Rank(l TO Size%) AS INTEGER 
1% = 

DO UNTIL 1% = Size% 
1% - 1% + 1 

READ Class (1%) .FirstName 
READ Class (1%) .Mark 

Rank(I%) = 1% Unitialize Rank 


LET K% = 
LET Swaps% = 1 
DO UNTIL Swaps% = 
LET Swaps% = 
LET K% = K% + 1 
FOR J% = 1 TO Size% - K% 

IF Class (Rank (J%) ) .Mark < Class (Rank (J% + 1)) 
Mark THEN 
SWAP Rank(J%), Rank ( J% + 1) 
LET Swaps% = Swaps% + 1 
FOR K% = 1 TO Size% 

PRINT Class (Rank (K%) ) .FirstName; 
Class (Rank (K%) ) .Mark 

Who Uses It? 

You can customize operating-system commands with macros 
written in BASIC. Many laboratory instruments also have an 
understanding of BASIC. Art Ramirez, a low-temperature physi- 
cist at AT&T's Bell Laboratories, measures magnetic and thermal 
effects occurring during experiments on superconductivity. He 
writes controllers for various devices such as voltameters, using ei- 
ther GWBASIC (QuickBasic' s predecessor) or TB ASIC (a ver- 
sion of True BASIC from a company called TransEra). His in- 
struments "understand" BASIC, he finds it quick and easy to 
use, and he feels no need for anything fancier. The True BASIC 
company sponsors a group that distributes shareware among en- 
gineers and others who might be interested in scientific appli- 

Thousands of commercial programs have been written in BA- 
SIC by people with good ideas but little programming experi- 
ence. What do you do when a program needs upgrading but is 
written in a version of BASIC that's no longer supported by its dis- 
tributor? Ah, there's the rub — in any nonstandardked language, 
not just BASIC. The hodgepodge of BASICs appears to have 

settled down to two major contenders: the standardized, simple 
True BASIC and QuickBasic, which has many more features. 
Either one has enough structures to program some pretty seri- 
ous applications. 

Why So Many Different Languages? 

In this series, I have looked at six language survivors from the 
1960s. There are other, newer languages as well: C, Ada, Prolog, 
and ML, to name the most popular ones. To address the question 
of why so many languages, I suggest looking at a book by Thomas 
Kuhn called The Nature of Scientific Revolutions (University of 
Chicago Press, 1962). 

The book was controversial because Kuhn claimed that a sci- 
entific notion was valued as much because of the group of peo- 
ple who found it useful as because of any intrinsic merit it might 
have. He traced new paradigms from the breakdown of older 
ones. Among programming languages, BASIC arose because of 
the breakdown of FORTRAN and ALGOL. 

Peter Wegner of Brown University has extended Kuhn's notion 
of paradigms to programming languages. Part of his motivation 
in doing this was to provide some kind of order in the general ba- 
bel of languages and dialects. He divides language paradigms 
into two broad categories: imperative and declarative. An im- 
perative language is one that facilitates computation by means 
of state changes. A programmer is responsible for making as- 
signments that change the state of a computer's memory. A 
declarative language is one in which a programmer submits 
a relation or function to be realized and a computer figures out 
how to do it. 

Each of the two paradigms has three subcategories; among im- 
perative languages are those that are block structured, object 
based, and supportive of concurrency. Declarative languages in- 
clude those that are logic based, functional, and database spe- 
cific. Of the older languages covered in this series, FORTRAN 
and COBOL are imperative, while Lisp, SNOBOL, and APL 
are declarative. None serves as a very good example of a sub- 
category, as newer languages have implemented these particular 
features better. 

Each language has a devoted community that was, possibly, 
attracted away from an earlier language. These practitioners com- 
municate with each other and collaborate on work using the pre- 
ferred language of their group. Number-crunching scientists and 
engineers use FORTRAN, businesses use COBOL, novices and 
those looking for quick-and-easy programming use BASIC, AI re- 
searchers use Lisp, those in the humanities prefer SNOBOL, and 
systems analysts use APL for building experimental systems. 
Any of these groups may be attracted to a new language, but, as 
Kuhn points out, "retooling is an extravagance to be reserved 
for the occasion that demands it." 

There are those who predict that programming will settle down 
into a few widely used languages — C superseding FORTRAN, 
Ada replacing COBOL and attracting some FORTRAN users, 
and Common Lisp becoming the language of choice for all func- 
tional programmers. You need only attend one or two computer 
conferences to find a vociferous group advocating the demise 
of BASIC. But members of each community appear to be pretty 
content with what they have, so don't look for consolidation any- 
time soon. ■ 

Doris Appleby writes about mathematics, computer science, and 
pedagogy. She is also the chairperson of mat hematic si computer 
science I information systems at Marymount College in Tarry- 
town, New York, and the author of Programming Languages — 
Paradigm and Practice (McGraw-Hill, 199 J). You can reach her 
on BIX do "editors" 

158 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

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160 BYTE • MARCH 1992 




The balance of different types of memory and storage in a 
computer system goes a long way toward determining its performance 


Consider the throughput of a hypothetical RISC-based 
workstation that can execute one machine instruc- 
tion per clock cycle. With a 25-MHz clock, it could 
spit out 25 million 32-bit results every second, with a 
throughput of 100 MBps. 
To keep the CPU of such a system operating at full speed, you 
need a memory system that can load one instruction and two 
operands and store one result every clock cycle. That's four 
32-bit pieces you would have to move each cycle, which trans- 
lates into a potential required bandwidth of 400 MBps. 

Today, there are no desktop-class machines with memory 
systems capable of such bandwidths. The stumbling block is 
not so much technical as it is economic: High-speed memory 
systems are expensive, and they exhibit a price/performance 
curve that has more in common with an exponential function 
than with a linear one. The challenge in designing or pur- 
chasing a desktop system is to balance the conflicts between 
optimal memory design and cost. 

This State of the Art section examines computer storage 
and how it relates to performance. This article provides an 
overview of today's computer storage systems and how they 
are likely to evolve in the near future. In "What to Stash in a 
Cache," Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols takes an in-depth look 
at the most common method used to expand the major bot- 
tleneck in most computer systems: the processor-to-main- 
memory interface. In "Storage Management," Mike Robinson 
examines the issues you'll confront in the brave new world of 
network-based storage and archiving. And in "Embedded In- 
telligence," authors Rod Kirk, Tim Christianson, and Danial 
Faizullabhoy explore the growing intelligence found in mass- 
storage systems. 

The Great Pyramid 

Computer storage is anything but monolithic. In a typical sys- 
tem, you can easily have four or five different types of storage, 
from the registers that feed a processor's functional units to the 
tape drives that back up the hard disk. 
Although each type of storage has its own functions and 

characteristics, each is also bound to the others in a coherent 
memory system. This system is designed to keep the proces- 
sor as busy as possible by supplying it with required infor- 
mation (i.e., instructions and data) in a timely manner. 

The relationships between the different types of memory can 
best be viewed as a pyramid. The base of each segment represents 
its relative size in comparison to 
the other storage types. Its height 
represents its relative speed 
(higher equals faster) and cost 
(higher equals more expensive). 
Figure 1 shows the memory 
pyramid for a typical 486-based 
desktop computer. 

Storage technologies do not 
advance in lockstep. Memory 
speeds do not increase at the 
same rate as processor speeds, 
and processor speeds, in turn, do 
not directly relate to the speed 
of drives. As a result, the rela- 
tive contribution of each type of 
storage in an optimal memory 
system changes almost daily. 

Scaling the 
Memory Pyramid 


What to Stash 
in a Cache 


Storage Management 


Ultimate Storage 

The ultimate destination of 
the contents of any computer 
storage medium (e.g., memo- 
ry, hard disk, and tape) is the 
processor. It executes the in- 
structions, massages the data, 
and produces the results. 

The processor's actions take 
place in its functional units, 
which can include an ALU, an 
FPU, or perhaps a vector-pro- 
cessing unit. However, before 

Embedded Intelligence 




Resource Guide: 

Storage for Networks 


MARCH 1992 • BYTE 161 



Register file (less than 1 KB, very fast, and very expensive) 

Memory cache (8 KB, fast, and expensive) 

Main memory (8 to 64 MB, slower, and less expensive) 

Direct-access storage (80 to 51 2 MB, slowest, 
and least expensive) 

Figure 1 : The memory pyramid for a typical 486-based system consists of four layers. 
The processor-register file is the smallest (under 1 KB) and the fastest (10-nanosec- 
ond ace ess) form of storage on the system. In contrast, the hard disk might store 200 
MB (200,000 KB) but require 15 milliseconds (15 million ns) on average to access 
its contents. On the other hand, the hard disk might cost you less than half a cent per 
KB, and you can t get the processor registers for less than several hundred dollars 
per KB. 

an instruction can invoke such a unit and 
before the unit can massage the data, the 
processor must retrieve the instruction or 
data from memory and store it in the reg- 
isters. Processor registers provide the cap- 
stone of the memory pyramid. 

Although instructions and data share 
the same memory, they often take different 
paths to a register. Some processors use a 
full Harvard architecture, which features 
separate paths from memory to the pro- 
cessor for instructions and data. Other de- 
signs use a common pathway to the pro- 
cessor but send the instructions and data to 
different internal caches. 

The 486, on the other hand, stores both 
instructions and data in the same on-chip 
cache. Only when the processor moves the 
instructions to the instruction register and 



Computer storage is anything 
but monolithic. A typical sys- 
tem can have four or five types 
of storage. The goal is to get 
the proper instructions and 
data into the registers in a time- 
ly fashion and to keep the pro- 
cessor busy. Some exciting 
ways of meeting that challenge 
are emerging. 

the data to the general-purpose registers 
do instructions and data finally go their 
separate ways. 

Registers are the final storage place for 
instructions and data before execution. A 
processor's register file is also the smallest 
(and thus most expensive) storage facility 
in a system. 

The purpose of the memory pyramid is 
to get the proper instructions and data into 
the registers in a timely fashion. The main 
reason for the success of RISC-based com- 
puters over the past few years lies in their 
ability to keep the proper registers primed 
with data and instructions. RISC proces- 
sors feature large register files and spe- 
cialized fetch-and-store instructions that 
help to keep the registers filled with the 
proper data. The future will bring larger 
register files and greater use of RISC. 

Caching In on Main Memory 

Below the processor registers on the mem- 
ory pyramid lies the main memory sys- 
tem. On today's desktop computers and 
workstations, this system normally con- 
sists of the main memory store and one or 
two caches. One cache is usually located 
on the processor chip (the primary cache), 
and the other is off-chip (the secondary 

The processor-to-main-memory inter- 
face has always been the main perfor- 
mance choke point in stored-program-type 
computers. It's a choke point that is be- 
coming progressively narrower. 

As figure 2 shows, speed advances in 
the DRAM chips that make up main mem- 
ory in personal computers and worksta- 
tions have not kept pace with advances in 
processor clock speed. Thus, main memoiy 

is more of a drag on processor performance 
today than it was in the earliest personal 
computers. As a result of this ever-widen- 
ing gap, systems designers have turned to 
smaller, faster, and more expensive cache- 
memory techniques to keep the processor 
pipeline as full as possible. 

The logic behind caches rests on the 
principle of locality. As explained by Hen- 
nessy and Patterson in Computer Archi- 
tecture: A Quantitative Approach (Mor- 
gan Kaufmann Publishers, 1990), this 
hypothesis has two dimensions, a tempo- 
ral one and a spatial one. 

The principle of locality holds that a 
program (and thus a processor) tends to 
access memory items it has accessed re- 
cently — the temporal dimension. In addi- 
tion, a program tends to access memory 
items located near the items it has accessed 
recently — the spatial dimension. 

A cache, then, is a system that moves 
recently accessed items and the items near 
them to a storage medium (typically stat- 
ic RAM or processor RAM) that is faster 
than main memory's DRAM. Caches are 
classified by their speed, complexity, and 
size. Normally, the more complex the log- 
ic of the cache controller is, the smaller 
the cache you need. 

Another way that you can differentiate 
caches is by how they update main mem- 
ory. A write-through cache writes to main 
memory whenever a cached location is 
written to; a write-back cache writes to 
main memory only when a particular lo- 
cation is flushed from the cache. The for- 
mer ensures constant coherency between 
the cache and main memory; however, its 
greater use of the memory bus could in- 
terfere with other cache-to-main-memory 

Most high-end personal computers use 
a single cache: High-end 386 machines 
have off-chip caches, and 486 machines 
have caches integrated into the processor. 
In the future, personal computers will fol- 
low the lead of workstations and use two 
levels of caching: a smaller, faster prima- 
ry cache and a larger, slower secondary 
cache. In general, caches will become larg- 
er and more complex; they must to keep 
pace with the increasing clock speeds of 
future desktop machines. 

Another recent trend in personal com- 
puters is the use of virtual memory. Long 
a standard feature on Unix workstations, 
virtual memory lets you use part of your 
hard disk as main memory. Thus, you 
don't need to have enough main memory 
to hold all your executing applications and 
data at the same time. 

Virtual memory was developed at a time 
when main memory was more expensive 
than it is now. Today, however, virtual 

162 B YTE • MARCH 1992 

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How Will Multimedia 
Change System Storage? 


We are witnessing a revolution 
in the personal computer in- 
dustry: the multimedia revolu- 
tion. Multimedia enhances ex- 
isting applications by adding rich data 
types (e.g., color photographs, motion 
video, and audio). It promises to cre- 
ate a new type of application aimed at 
group productivity rather than individ- 
ual productivity. 

Today, these new types of applica- 
tions are described with terms like 
workgroup computing, enterprise com- 
puting, and computer-supported col- 
laboration. Their goal is to provide a 
real-time environment that integrates 
multiuser, multisite production with in- 
formation sharing. This information in- 
cludes traditional forms of data as well 
as the video and audio data types found 
in multimedia. 

As these new data types are incorpo- 
rated into desktop computing, they will 
have an impact on nearly every com- 
ponent in the system — the CPU, mem- 
ory, mass storage, expansion bus, net- 
work, and display. Of specific interest 
is multimedia's impact on memory and 
mass-storage components. 

To fully integrate rich datatypes (par- 
ticularly video and audio) into desktop 
computing, it is important to under- 
stand their nature and key characteris- 
tics. Unlike text and two-dimensional 
graphics, video and audio are time-con- 
tinuous in nature: They are presented 
over a period of time at a specific, pre- 
defined rate. Such a constraint prede- 
termines two well-known characteris- 
tics of video and audio data: They are 
large and performance-sensitive. 

Digital Video 

A typical spatial resolution for a digital 
motion-video window in a desktop ap- 
plication would be 320 by 240 pixels, 
or one-quarter of the screen at the stan- 
dard VGA resolution of 640 by 480 

pixels. The image quality of video at 
320- by 240-pixel resolution is rough- 
ly equivalent to that of VHS video. 

In most cases, video and photographic 
images are encoded in a YUV color 
space with luminance (Y) at full reso- 
lution (i.e., 320 by 240 pixels) and 
chrominance (U,V) at half resolution 
horizontally and vertically (i.e., 160 by 
120 pixels). With 1 byte for each Y, U, 
and V sample, this gives an average of 
1 .5 bytes per pixel; that is, one Y byte 
per pixel, and one U byte and one V 
byte per 2- by 2-pixel array. 

Therefore, each frame of video is 
1 15,200 bytes in size and, at 30 frames 
per second, requires 3.5 MB of storage 
to hold 1 second of video. Because mo- 
tion video contains a lot of redundancy, 
it can be compressed without signifi- 
cantly degrading image quality. 

Video Compression 

You can achieve a compressed size of 
about 4.5 KB per frame with a com- 
pression scheme such as the Moving 
Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) stan- 
dard (a draft standard for compressed 
digital video and audio that is targeted 
at playback from CD-ROM or other 
digital storage medium at an approxi- 
mate data rate of 1.5 Mbps) or Intel's 
PLV (Presentation-Level Video). 

After converting a 320- by 240-pixel 
image to YUV format, the compres- 
sion ratio needed to condense the image 
to 4.5 KB is about 26 to 1. Audio data 
contains a lot less redundancy and can- 
not be compressed as much. It achieves 
a compression ratio of only about 4 to 1 . 

At these compression ratios, a CD- 
ROM or hard disk with a 500-MB ca- 
pacity can store an hour of video and 
audio. The compressed data rate re- 
quired for real-time playback at 30 
frames per second is 135 KBps. This 
speed not only allows video and audio 
playback from disk but also makes 

video and audio transmission via com- 
puter networks and Tl digital phone 
lines possible (see figure A). 

In the mid-1990s, motion-video res- 
olution on desktop computers will start 
to shift to full-TV resolution (640 by 
480 pixels). Because there are four 
times as many pixels on TV as on 
VGA, this resolution will require four 
times the storage needed for both com- 
pressed and uncompressed video. 
That's about 460 KB for each uncom- 
pressed frame and a data rate of 0.54 
MBps for real-time playback of com- 
pressed video and audio. The ISO 
MPEG-2 standard, now in the early 
stages of development, is targeted at 
TV-quality video and near-CD-quali- 
ty audio at a 0.5- to 1.2-MBps com- 
pressed data rate. 

The move from TV-quality to HDTV- 
quality video, with image sizes in the 
range of 1 million to 2 million pixels 
and compressed data rates of 2.5 to 5 
MBps, will be delayed until the late 
1990s because of economics as much as 
technical factors. With the low cost of 
NTSC and PAL video equipment and a 
profusion of source material, these for- 
mats will be slow to move to HDTV 
video for all but the most advanced 
desktop video applications. 

The Impact on Memory 

The impact of multimedia on the mem- 
ory subsystems of desktop machines 
will occur in the number and size of 
uncompressed video frames stored and, 
indirectly, in the increase in frame- 
buffer depth required to properly dis- 
play video images. In a scheme such 
as MPEG, two to three frames of video 
are stored during the encoding or de- 
coding processes, because the scheme 
uses interframe coding techniques (e.g., 
motion compensation). 

Most early designs of video-acceler- 
ator chips will use a separate, dedicat- 

164 BYTE -MARCH 1992 



Multimedia processor 










video data 

3.8 MBps 

video data 

*20- to 60-MBps memory bandwidth required for real-time video 

Figure A: Multimedia processing moves data over the system bus in both compressed and uncompressed formats. The 
values given here are typical for one-way transfers on a single video stream. Applications such as video conferencing 
will require the system to simultaneously handle two streams of video information, doubling the bus traffic shown here. 

ed block of memory (typically 1 to 2 
MB in size) to store video frames and 
intermediate data created during the 
encoding and decoding processes. In 
the future, however, the trend will be to 
eliminate this separate memory store 
and use a portion of system memory 
for video and related data. 

Although this use won't have a sig- 
nificant impact on memory size in 32- 
bit systems, it will adversely affect 
memory performance. The memory 
bandwidths required to process MPEG 
images are in the range of 40 to 60 
MBps for compression and 20 to 30 
MBps for decompression. MPEG-2 
processing will almost quadruple that 
memory bandwidth requirement. 

Moving to More Colors 

To properly present video and photo- 
graphic-quality images, the frame- 
buffer depths must increase from the 4 
to 8 bits per pixel used today to be- 
tween 16 and 24 bits per pixel. Full 
photographic-quality displays require 
24 bits per pixel — 8 bits each for the 
red, green, and blue color components. 

A 16-bit-per-pixel RGB format can 
display photographic-quality images 
with good but not perfect quality. 
Dithering is often used to eliminate 
contouring in the image. This is ac- 
complished by masking the image with 
low-level noise. 

Because most GUIs used today (e.g., 

Windows) store off-screen images in 
system memory, the storage and band- 
width requirements for GUI image data 
will increase by a factor of two to four 
as the frame-buffer depth increases. 

Massive Storage 

The primary impact of multimedia on 
the mass-storage system will not be the 
size of the motion-video files. They are 
large but not unreasonably so, consid- 
ering current trends in mass-storage 
density. Rather, the major impact will 
be in the performance sensitivity of 
continuous data types. 

In particular, video and audio capture 
and playback are very sensitive to the 
continuous data rate and latency (as 
visible to the application) of the mass- 
storage device. If the video or audio 
data stream is interrupted, the result- 
ing glitch in the playback is immedi- 
ately noticeable. 

You can manage interruptions in data 
delivery from the storage device by 
buffering the compressed data. This 
technique, however, introduces addi- 
tional latency that can reduce the de- 
vice's responsiveness. 

What About CD-ROM? 

Although CD-ROM has a very attrac- 
tive distribution cost per bit, it will only 
be useful in a subset of potential mul- 
timedia applications because it's a read- 
only device. In the enterprise comput- 

ing environment of tomorrow, many 
of the databases containing reference 
material, application help, tutorial files, 
and multimedia clip art will be moved 
to a file server as a network resource. 
The most common local mass stor- 
age will continue to be high-capacity 
and high-data-rate read/write devices. 
Improvements in operating systems and 
drivers will be required to provide high 
data rates, continuous streaming, and 
low latency at the application level. 

Pushing the Envelope 

The integration of rich multimedia data 
types into the desktop computer will 
change our lives. Overthe next sever- 
al years, the systems architecture of the 
personal computer will undergo sig- 
nificant changes to incorporate these 
new data types. 

The inclusion of video data, in partic- 
ular will affect memory and mass-stor- 
age requirements because of video's 
continuous nature and large file sizes. 
Increases in image resolution and the 
requirements for multiple, simultaneous 
video streams will continue to push the 
capabilities of memory and mass-storage 
subsystems throughout the next decade. 

David Sprague is manager of video 
processors at Intel's multimedia prod- 
ucts operation in Plainsboro, New Jer- 
sey. You can reach him on BIX c/o "ed- 
itors. " 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 165 


Floppy — But Very Large 

Once the only form of di- 
rect-access storage avail- 
able for personal comput- 
ers, floppy disks have 
become relatively less important 
in recent years than hard and op- 
tical disks. In the past, floppy 
disks were used for everything — 
program and data storage, archiv- 
ing, software distribution, and 
data transport. Today, hard disks, 
tape, optical storage, and network 
servers have usurped most of 
these functions. Software distri- 
bution is the only area in which 
floppy disks still dominate. 

The problem isn't that floppy 
disks haven't increased in capac- 
ity over the years. On the con- 
trary, they have shown a steady 
progression in capacity, from the 
160 KB you got with the original 
IBM PC floppy disks to the 2.88 
MB you can get today. 

The problem is that floppy disk 
capacity has not kept pace with 
the massive size requirements 
of today's tasks (e.g., hard disk 
backup and program and data 
storage). In a world of hard disks 
that offer 1 00-MB capacity and 
word processors that take up 1 5 
MB of storage space, a 1 .44- or 2.88- 
MB floppy disk isn't terribly useful. 

To enlarge the capacity of a disk, you 
can increase the linear density, the track 
density, or both. Increasing linear den- 
sity means putting more bits on a track. 
Increasing the track density means 
cramming more concentric tracks into 
a limited area. 

Increasing linear density was the tac- 
tic used to increase the capacity of 3 l A- 
inch floppy disks from 720 KB to 1 .44 
MB, and from 1.44 to 2.88 MB. In the 
latter case, Toshiba used a higher co- 
ercivity medium, barium ferrite, to dou- 
ble the number of bits you can store 
on each track. The Toshiba technology 
stores about 35,000 bits per inch. 

The second method of enlarging disk 
capacity — increasing track density — 
has not yet been applied to floppy disks. 
With high track densities, you need a 
mechanism that will detect when the 
head is not aligned exactly over a spe- 

This Floptical drive system uses optical elements to 
split and focus the positioning light beam. One beam 
is directed upward to the disk while the other goes to 
the linear encoder, which contains the pattern needed 
to determine the position of the low-density 
read/write head over the tracks of 720-KB and 1.44- 
MB floppy disks. Both beams are reflected to the 
quad detector. If the Floptical pattern is detected, the 
digital servo mechanism uses the information from 
the first beam to position the high-density head; 
otherwise, it uses the information from the second 
beam to position the low-density head. 

cif ic track. This requires a feedback 
mechanism that enables the drive to 
read positioning information directly 
from the medium. The lack of medi- 
um-based positioning information and 
a feedback mechanism is the reason 
why today's floppy disks are stuck at 
1 35 tracks per inch. 

Making Tracks 

Several companies have been working 
to develop technologies to increase the 
track density (and thus the storage ca- 
pacity) of 3><-inch floppy disks. Brier 
Technology and Insite Technology 
have succeeded in boosting the capac- 
ity of floppy disks to over 20 MB. 

The Brier Flextra system uses a low- 
frequency magnetic signal embedded 
in the medium to position the read/write 
head precisely over the intended track. 
Data recording uses higher-frequency 
signals, permitting the head to distin- 
guish positioning information from 

data. The one drawback to the 
Brier drive is that it can't read 
and write lower-capacity flop- 
py disks. 

The Insite drive uses optical 
techniques to position the read/ 
write head over the proper track. 
The medium is embossed with 
servo tracks that create areas of 
higher and lower contrast. A 
light beam reflected off these 
tracks can find the necessary po- 
sition of the read/write head over 
the medium. The use of optical 
positioning techniques gives this 
technology its name: Floptical. 
This technology has one advan- 
tage over Flextra: It can read and 
write conventional 720-KB and 
1.44-MB floppy disks. 

The Floptical system directs 
the positioning light beam to the 
servo tracks on a Floptical disk. 
When the detector senses the re- 
flected pattern of a Floptical 
disk, it uses the beam to obtain 
positioning information. When 
it doesn't sense the Floptical pat- 
tern, indicating the presence of a 
non-Floptical disk surface, it 
switches to an alternative posi- 
tioning system for the lower- 
density medium (see the photo). 

Floptical technology uses magnetic 
recording technology to actually read 
and write the data; optical technology is 
used for positioning only. In fact, the 
Insite technology uses two heads: one 
for Floptical disks and one for conven- 
tional media. Because its read/write 
mechanism is larger than the Flextra's, 
an Insite drive has a seek time about 
twice that of the Flectra. 

Setting Standards 

To be more than niche technologies, 
the Flextra and Floptical drives require 
the support of media makers, OEMs, 
and customers. Quantum sells Flextra 
drives under the QuadFlextra name, 
and Verbatim makes Flextra media. 

Insite has gone further in lining up 
industry support for its Floptical tech- 
nology. Early on, the company licensed 
its technology to Iomega to provide a 
second source of Floptical drives, lined 

166 BYTE • MARCH 1 992 


up media makers 3M and Maxell, 
and arranged to have MKE manu- 
facture its drives. Last year, these 
companies formed the Floptical 
Technology Association (FTA) to 
promote Floptical technology and 
maintain compatibility across me- 
dia and drives from different man- 

Since last spring, the FTA has gar- 
nered support from four SCSI 
adapter makers, including Adaptec, 
and from numerous drive OEMs, 
including Prima Storage Solutions, 
Liberty Systems, Commodore Tech- 
nology, Honeywell IAC, and Pro- 
corn Technology. The FTA believes 
the ability of Floptical drives to read 
conventional floppy disks will at- 
tract enough OEMs and customers 
to create a de facto standard. 

Handicapping the Race 

At more than 20 MB, the capacity of 
Flextra and Floptical drives is suf- 
ficient to enable floppy disks to re- 
tain their preeminence as a medium 
for software distribution and to once 
again handle applications such as 
hard disk backup, data transfer, and 
program and data storage. The fi- 
nal determination of viability, how- 
ever, rests with the customer. 

Given its wider range of support 
among different companies and its 
backward compatibility with older 
media, Floptical technology stands 
the best chance of establishing it- 
self as the standard for high-capac- 
ity floppy disks, but Flextra tech- 
nology is not standing still. 

Brier has announced a 50-MB ver- 
sion of Flextra that will be compat- 
ible with 720-KB, 1.44-MB, and 
2.88-MB floppy disks. In addition, 
Flextra' s overall performance is bet- 
ter than Floptical's, and that will at- 
tract customers to whom compati- 
bility is a secondary issue. 

The biggest question concerning 
very high capacity floppy disks is 
not which will establish itself as a 
standard, but whether either — or 
some other design — can succeed in 
the marketplace. The answer lies 
with you. 

memory can defeat the purpose of a high- 
speed memoi7 system. 

If you paid a premium for a machine 
with fast primary and secondary caches, 
you should think twice about using virtu- 
al memory to extend your system's mem- 
ory capacity. An access to a hard disk lo- 
cation is about 200,000 times slower than 
an access to a main memory location. 

On the other hand, virtual memory can 
be a lifesaver if your need for memory out- 
paces your ability to pay for it. With virtual 
memory, as with other aspects of a mem- 
ory system, you have to balance the bene- 
fits against the penalties. 

Disk Revolutions 

The line between main memory and di- 
rect-access storage is the most significant 
one in the memory pyramid. Across this di- 
vide, access speed drops by a factor of sev- 
eral hundred thousand. 

More important, direct-access storage 
is the first nonvolatile type of memory on 
the pyramid. You don't lose the contents of 
direct-access storage when you turn off 
the power on your system. These two fac- 
tors determine the future evolution of hard 
disk technology, the most important cur- 
rent form of direct-access storage. 

The most significant trends in hard disk 
technology today are increased capacity 
and security. Speed is important, but giv- 
en the enormous gap between disk- and 
memory-access times, none of the ad- 
vances on the horizon are likely to have 
much impact on the relative speeds of 
drives and memory. 

The name of the game in hard disks now 
is capacity. This is especially evident when 
you consider the storage-hungry tech- 
nologies (e.g., multimedia) that are grow- 
ing in importance on the desktop (see the 
text box "How Will Multimedia Change 
System Storage?" on page 1 64). 

Capacity is a function of how tightly 
you can pack individual bits together on a 
track (i.e., linear density) and how closely 
you can pack tracks together on a disk sur- 
face (i.e., track density). Both these mea- 
sures — and their combination, termed are- 
al density — are primarily determined by 
the materials used to construct the disk. 

Formerly, hard disks were coated with a 
crystalline form of ferric oxide called gam- 
ma ferric oxide. Particles in the coating 
were magnetized in the direction corre- 
sponding to the magnetic field created by 
the read/write head. 

As the need for more tightly packed bits 
and tracks increased, so did the need for 
newer coatings. Ferric-oxide coatings 
reached their limits; they were too coarse 
to permit the bit information to be packed 
any more tightly. 




N 30 

^ 20 





CPU clock 

DRAM clock 
(1/access time) 






1975 1980 1985 1990 

Figure 2: The curves representing clock 
speed and memory speed have diverged 
markedly since the introduction of per- 
sonal computers in the mid-] 970s. This 
divergence points out the need for 
caches and other bandwidth-expanding 
techniques that let memoiy systems keep 
up with modern processors. 

Today, most high-capacity hard disks 
use metallic thin-film coatings that let you 
pack the magnetic spots extremely close 
together. A typical high-capacity disk 
might have a linear density of about 60,000 
bits per inch and a track density of be- 
tween 1500 and 2000 tracks per inch. 

Tightly packed recording spots increase 
both the difficulty in distinguishing one 
spot from another and the chance that near- 
by spots may alter a spot's polarity. To 
overcome the first difficulty, drive man- 
ufacturers have long used thin-film heads, 
which are more sensitive than monolithic 
ferrite heads. 

Keeping one spot from influencing the 
polarity of another requires the use of ma- 
terials with high coercivity (i.e., the mea- 
sure of a material's innate resistance to 
changing its magnetic orientation). Using 
highly coercive thin films solves the po- 
larity problem, but it introduces another. 
Highly coercive materials require a pow- 
erful induction field from the read/write 
head to change their magnetic orientation. 
Keeping this field from making unwanted 
changes in nearby spots requires a read/ 
write head with a small inductive gap. A 
small gap, in turn, means that the head 
must travel very close to the medium, in- 
creasing the danger of a head crash. 

Increasing the capacity of magnetic 
disks requires quite a balancing act. Each 
increase in track or linear density resulting 
from advances in the materials used re- 
quires corresponding advances in the read/ 
write heads and in the servo mechanisms 
that control them. 

Despite these difficulties, the growth in 
disk capacities will continue unabated for 
the foreseeable future. For example, Hi- 
tachi is already investigating the use of 
materials that will permit linear densities 
of 120,000 bpi, and IBM is researching 

MARCH 1992 • B YTE 167 


Terabyte Memories 
with the Speed of Light 

The mechanical speed of current 
mass-storage systems has not 
kept pace with silicon advances. 
The I/O bottleneck arising from 
this mismatch severely limits expedient 
access to vast data archives that need 
distillation for research or business pur- 

Within the next seven to 10 years, 
three-dimensional optical-based RAMs 
will emerge. With an I/O bandwidth 
exceeding 1 terabit per second, 3-D 
ORAMs will eventually replace huge 
disk farms and other mechanically de- 
pendent mass- storage structures. 

The theoretical storage-density lim- 
it for a 2-D medium (e.g., an optical 
disk) is 1/X 2 = 4.0 x 10 8 bits/cm 2 or 50 
MB/cm 2 , assuming a 0.5-micrometer 
(10 6 -meter) illumination source to ad- 
dress the information. For 3-D storage 
(e.g., a 3-D ORAM), the theoretical 
storage density limit is l/X 2 = 8.0 x 10 12 
bits/cm 3 or 1 terabyte/cm 3 . With 20,000 
times the theoretical storage density of 
2-D media, the 3-D ORAM technology 
clearly has a substantial advantage in 

The 3-D ORAM prototypes current- 
ly under development at the Universi- 
ty of California at San Diego and at 
Irvine use a small cube (1 cm 3 ) of ma- 
terial composed of transparent styrene 
doped with a light-sensitive chemical 
(see references 1, 2, and 3). 

When two polarized, coherent, and 
orthogonally oriented light beams si- 
multaneously strike the material, a bit is 
recorded at their intersection in the form 
of an opaque dot, or pixel. The finer 
the light beams are, the smaller the bit 
becomes. The light beams can be fo- 
cused to 1 micrometer, resulting in a 
recording density over 1000 times that 
of optical disk media. 

Unparalleled Bandwidth 

Access speed is another important char- 
acteristic of storage systems. The typ- 
ical hard drive consumes about 10 mil- 



Focus element 



stimulus light 


storage medium 

Figure A: 3-D ORAMs record infor- 
mation through the excitation of a 
photochromic chemical dopant. To 
read a bit, two photons of 1. 03 -mi- 
crometer wavelength provide the 
necessary stimulus when they strike 
a data bit. 

liseconds during armature and head 
movement before reaching an arbitrary 
location for reading or writing. 

DRAM is much faster than a hard 
drive, with a cycle time approaching 
80 nanoseconds. Static RAM is faster 
still, with cycle times in the range of 
20 ns, but it's also more expensive. 

In contrast to these relative infini- 
ties of time, you can read or write 3-D 
ORAM in as short a time as 10 to 20 pi- 
coseconds (10 12 seconds). This is over 
1000 times faster than conventional 
semiconductor memories. 

Furthermore, you don't access 3-D 
ORAMs to read or write from 1 to 32 
bits at a time, as you do with standard 
silicon memory chips and micropro- 
cessor subsystems. You write 3-D 
ORAMs in a highly parallel fashion, 
simultaneously accessing 1 million bits 
of data or more in each cycle (about 1 

To put these figures in perspective, 

I'll compare them with the total mem- 
ory bandwidth of a parallel-processing 
system containing 1000 processors, 
such as the newly announced CM-5 
from Thinking Machines (Cambridge, 
MA). Assuming a 64-bit word cycle 
and an 80-ns memory cycle, a total 
memory bandwidth of 100 gigabytes 
per second would be possible for the 
1000-processor parallel-processing sys- 
tem. A single 3-D ORAM can address 
1 Mb every 5 |xs, for a memory band- 
width of 25 GBps. 

Storage Through Chemistry 

The storage medium for 3-D ORAMs 
records information through the exci- 
tation of a photochromic chemical 
dopant called spirobenzopyran. When 
this molecule absorbs two photons of 
0.538-micrometer wavelength (visible 
light) simultaneously, it changes color 
(much like light-sensitive sunglasses 
that darken on exposure to direct sun- 
light) and records a bit (see figure A). 

To read a bit, two photons at the in- 
frared wavelength of 1 .03 micrometers 
provide the stimulus by striking the 
pixel. The read process is nondestruc- 
tive, and the data remains intact. 

The material used to store the infor- 
mation is susceptible to environmen- 
tal conditions. The bits can randomly 
flip when exposed to room tempera- 
ture, destroying the information con- 
tent. When immersed in liquid nitro- 
gen or dry ice, 3-D ORAMs can retain 
their information for weeks. Eventual- 
ly, a more durable chemical dopant will 
be found that can withstand temperate 
environments without losing data. 

Address of Exotic Ingenuity 

The eventual incorporation of the 3-D 
ORAM technology into standard com- 
puting systems hinges on the emer- 
gence of practical address-control mech- 
anisms. DRAMs have chip-select and 
output-enable lines that control the dis- 
semination of data and access to any 

168 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


point in memory. A 3-D ORAM re- 
quires analogous support and control 
circuitry. The control lines are not fash- 
ioned from copper wire, and the sig- 
nals are not electrical: They are elec- 

A key element of the address-con- 
trol mechanism is the dynamic focusing 
lens, which contains filters stored as 
holographic images. Each filter selec- 
tively interferes with the output light 
field emanating from a 2-D array of 
pixels. This array is illuminated by a 
coherent light source (a laser) tuned to 
the storage medium's read or write 
wavelength. The DFL may contain sev- 
eral dozen holographic filters. 

The filters continuously cycle, like 
the flickering frames seen in old mov- 
ing pictures, but the holographic frames 
flash by at 1 MHz, not 24 Hz. The DFL 
cycle speed provides the limit of the 
speed at which information can transfer 
into and out of the 3-D ORAM. The 
filters are constructed from random- 
phase holograms, and the 3-D images 
they project do not resemble the neat 
creatures seen in Star Wars or those 
built by the MIT Media Lab. 

As each plane of pixels (i.e., a planar 
slice through the storage medium) is 
illuminated, the current DFL filter per- 
mits a select portion of the 1 million 
or more visiblepixels to pass through. 
A detector assembly registers them as 
bits of data. Each time a new DFL fil- 
ter is active, a unique area of the pixel 
array is mapped onto the detector and 
assigned to semiconductor RAM for 

The detector may consist of an ar- 
ray of 256 by 256 photo transistors, 
like those used to convert fiber-optic 
Fiber Distributed Data Interface sig- 
nals into electrical impulses for elec- 
tronic digital processing. 

Because a detector organized as 256 
by 256 elements contains 65,536 ele- 
ments, the DFL maps 1 million pixels 
(1 megapixel) simultaneously into the 
detector array. It uses a multiplexing 
process strobed to the holographic-fil- 
ter cycle. Mapping a 1 -megapixel plane 
into a 65,536-detector array requires 
the DFL to store 16 unique holograph- 
ic patterns. 

The detector assembly may eventu- 
ally be fashioned from thousands of 
microlasers, each about 2 micrometers 
in diameter (see references 4 and 5), 
rather than discrete photo transistors. 

Right Write 

One additional element of the electro- 
optical address-control mechanism is 
an active device called a spatial light 
modulator, which alters the polariza- 
tion of the light beams used to write 
the pixels. When the two incident light 
beams intersect, the amount of energy 
they deposit at a particular pixel ad- 
dress in the storage medium is deter- 
mined by the superposition of the po- 
larized photons. At that point, the SLM 
alters the light-beam polarization to 
achieve a constant intersection ampli- 
tude, making certain that a bright pixel 
is written. 

Constructed from liquid crystals and 
a combination of rare earth metals (e.g., 
zirconium and lanthanum), the SLM 
element is a vital component that con- 
tributes to the success of the 3-D 

Ponderous Implications 

The projected cost for 3-D ORAM with 
terabyte capacity ranges from $ 1 per 
MB for a l-(is access cycle to 10 cents 
per MB for a 100-|_is to 1-ms access 
cycle. A terabyte of storage with 3-D 
ORAM ranges in cost from $10 mil- 
lion for a 1 -jlxs access cycle to $1 00,000 
for a to 1-ms access cycle. 
Compared to DRAM, which ranges 
from $ 1 00 per MB to $30 per MB for 
an 80-ns access cycle, 1 terabyte of 
DRAM would cost $30 million. 


1. Hunter, S., F. Kiamilev, S. Esener, 
D. A. Parthenopoulos, and P. M. 
Rentzepis. "Potentials of Two-Photon 
Based 3-D Optical Memories for High 
Performance Computing." Applied Op- 
tics, vol. 29, no. 14. 

2. "Incredibly Small Box, Incredibly 
Large Memory," New York Times, 2 
Sept. 1991, sec. A, p. 37. 

3. Pollack, Andrew. "The Hologram 
Computers of Tomorrow." New York 
Times, 9 June 1991, sec. F, p. 9. 

4. Jewell, J. L., J. P. Harbison, and A. 
Scherer. "Microlasers." Scientific Amer- 
ican, November 1991. 

5 . Markoff, John. "Bell Labs Laser Said 
To Be World's Tiniest." New York 
Times, 8 Nov. 1991, sec. C, p. 4. 

Richard Marlon Stein is a freelance 
writer with a particular interest in par- 
allel processing. You can reach him on 
BIX c/o "editors. " 

magnetoresistive heads that will let you 
access nearly 2 Mb per square millimeter. 

The next few years will also see ad- 
vances in disk subsystems, which will sport 
more intelligent controllers (see "Embed- 
ded Intelligence" on page 195). You will 
also see more fault-tolerant disk subsys- 
tems. Technologies such as redundant ar- 
rays of inexpensive disks and Compaq's 
Intelligent Drive Array will ensure that 
you will not be caught off guard if your 
multigigabyte disk system goes on the 

Another important form of direct-ac- 
cess storage over the next few years will be 
optical read/write storage that uses mag- 
neto-optical technology. MO drives fea- 
ture removable media that let you move a 
disk from one machine to another. Al- 
though plagued by incompatible media in 
the 5/4-inch format, developers hope that 
adherence to a common 3^-inch format 
will make MO technology more attractive. 

MO technology is best suited to situa- 
tions that require high capacity without 
high-speed access. Optical read/write 
heads are more massive (and slower) than 
magnetic heads. Even though you wouldn't 
want your database server to use MO disks, 
less time-critical applications can make 
good use of their large storage capacities. 

One last direct-access technology that 
could have an important impact over the 
next few years is solid-state disks. These 
are actually not disks at all but simply 
DRAM that emulates a drive and has its 
own power supply. Solid-state disks are 
much faster than conventional disks be- 
cause they are completely electronic. They 
sometimes come with a conventional tape 
or drive to back up the DRAM. 

Although solid-state disks have a place 
in situations where speed is everything, 
don't expect them to cross the price/per- 
formance threshold that would make them 
more attractive than magnetic media. Most 
people who predict the imminent demise of 
magnetic media discount the evolving na- 
ture of the technology. 

If magnetic media were not making 
progress, you could make a case for the 
widespread acceptance of solid-state me- 
dia, but that isn't the case. More likely, 
you'll see greater use of caching controllers 
to improve access times for magnetic me- 
dia. This is the most important contribution 
DRAM technology can make to disk per- 

Gathering and Dispersing 

As more workgroups, departments, and 
companies adopt networking technology to 
link individual workers, protecting data 
from accidental or malicious loss becomes 
increasingly important. Magnetic tape will 

MARCH 1992 • B YTE 169 

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remain the technology of choice for the 
archival protection of information. The 
struggle among different formats (e.g., 
quarter-inch cartridge and 4-mm and 8- 
mm tape) will ensure increasing capaci- 
ties and decreasing prices. 

What will be different in archival stor- 
age in the future will be the intelligence 
of the backup systems. Archival systems 
will be integrated into a comprehensive 
storage management system that auto- 
matically makes frequently accessed files 
readily available and stores less frequent- 
ly used files on slower media (e.g., tape 
or WORM drives). 

Such a scheme makes the best use of 
faster, more expensive direct-access media 
while retaining access to information that 
is not often needed. This kind of intelli- 
gent distribution of backup is especially 
important in networking situations, where 
you can easily overburden a file server. 

One of the primary causes of the grow- 
ing need for more main memory and di- 
rect-access storage is the sheer size of the 
program and data files that today's appli- 
cations require. The search is under way 
for a more efficient and effective way of 
distributing programs and data. 

Given the size of current applications — 
with their attendant tutorials, help files, 
printer drivers, and so forth — it isn't un- 
usual to find a dozen floppy disks in an 
application package. This increases the 
cost of the package and makes installation 
more prone to error. 

Recently, some companies have tried a 
number of alternatives to floppy disk- 
based distribution. When first introduced, 
the Next machine came with a standard 
MO drive, and many companies, including 
Next, distributed software on compatible 
MO disks. The lack of an MO standard 
format and the absence of any significant 
market penetration by MO disks in gen- 
eral make this form of distribution of ques- 
tionable value for the industry at large. 

A more promising technology for pro- 
gram and data distribution is CD-ROM. 
Unlike MO, the CD-ROM has a strong 
foundation of data-format standards that 
are recognized industrywide. Thus, you 
can be reasonably certain that your CD- 
ROM drive (no matter what its make) will 
be able to read CD-ROM disks, given the 
proper interface software and driver. 

Companies such as Apple and Microsoft 
have taken advantage of the standardiza- 
tion in CD-ROM players by distributing 
systems software to developers on CD- 
ROM. Unix software publishers are also 
turning to CD-ROM in increasing num- 
bers in preference to the more traditional 
tape-based distribution. 

Presently, CD-ROM is best used as an 

information-distribution medium. With a 
capacity of over half a gigabyte, it is the 
preferred medium for distributing data-in- 
tensive applications. The availability of 
large databases is driving the broad pene- 
tration of CD-ROM drives in the market- 
place, which will further spur the use of 
CD-ROM by traditional developers. 

Other storage media commonly used 
for data distribution are magnetic tape, 
WORM, and removable hard disks, such 
as those made by Iomega. The problem 
with these media is the same lack of stan- 
dards that plagues MO technology. 

In the future, wide-scale distribution of 
programs and data will remain the province 
of floppy disks and CD-ROM. Recent ad- 
vances in floppy disk technology will make 
it more attractive for this function (see the 
text box "Floppy — But Very Large" on 
page 166), and new, higher-capacity CD- 
ROM standards will greatly add to the util- 
ity of this technology. 

Adherence to the new standards for 314- 
inch MO media may avoid the polyglot of 
formats that crippled larger MO formats 
as a distribution medium and add MO tech- 
nology to the list of widespread distiibution 
media as well. 

Storage Plus 

The next few years will see the introduc- 
tion of 16-Mb DRAMs, 2^-inch hard disks 
with capacities exceeding 250 MB, stan- 
dardized MO formats, and perhaps a new 
CD-ROM format. More important, you 
will see increased complexity in the band- 
width-enhancement schemes used to keep 
processors running at capacity. The recent 
announcement from DEC that it is clock- 
ing its new Alpha RISC chips (manufac- 
tured on its standard production line) at 
200 MHz underscores the importance of 
techniques that keep pipelines full. 

In the future, you may see entirely new 
forms of storage emerge for desktop sys- 
tems. The most promising of these alter- 
native technologies is holographic stor- 
age, which can not only store incredible 
quantities of data but also avoid bandwidth 
problems by eliminating buses entirely 
(see the text box "Terabyte Memories with 
the Speed of Light" on page 168). 

Semiconductor memory and magnetic 
direct-access storage will continue to dom- 
inate the memory pyramid. Faster and 
higher-capacity generations will be pro- 
duced to keep up with the bandwidth re- 
quirements of processors. In the end, how- 
ever, it will be the intelligently designed 
and executed memory systems that will 
keep processors from gasping for data. ■ 

Bob Ryan is a BYTE technical editor. You 
can reach him on BIX as "b.ryan. " 

170 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Before You Upgrade To MPC f 
Listen To This. 



SoundBlaster . . 

One of the boards we installed in the 
A?chf486 was Sound Blaster. With us 

associated software, it has quietly (no 

the standard sound system for advanced 
PCs The Roland board has much higher 

anything short of professional music 
quality, Sound Blaster is Rood enou||_ 



By Barry Brenesal 

The Marines may look for a few] 

I good men, but any PC game player 

I will gladly settle for a single good 

I sound caixi: one that plays both Sound 

1 Blaster and AdLib scores, one that| 

f doesn't fry your other boards, one that 

never draws attention to itself, one 

that delivers all the sophisticated 

sound effects and music bundled into 

the latest batch of game software. 

Look no further: Sound Blaster Pro 

I does it all, and more. At $299.95 it's 

not cheap, but neither are its features. 

Testing: One, Two . . . 

Installing Sound Blaster Pro is a I 
I snap. 'Hie 16-bit card slips easily into 
place. It comes with 

Trying out Sound Blaster Pro is 
a treat. It's got great frequency 
response - that's i the dilference 
between listening to a film score on a 
tinny, muflled AM radio and hearing 
it on a stereo movie-theater speaker 
system. The orchestral soundtrack to 
Orion's Wing Commander is a good 
example, because it changes mood 
and melody to match the success of 

y OU r current battle. Add Sound Blaster 
Pro to a good VGA screen anc a 

msponsive joystick (which you can plug 
*»«* Solincl ^terPm's joystick port J 
and the iUusioTi of doghghMi allUlll 
"a George Lucas-style film becomes 
3-D, symphonic reality. I 

Anothev plus is the absence of the] 

-TTThort, Greauve Labs -uundl 

^SBles. Signa l response^ 
exC el^Anddj 




Injusl two years, the Sound Blaster 
has become one of the the most 
widely-supported PC sound cards. 
It's easy to sec why. The Sound 
I Blaster contains an 1 1 -voice FM syn- 
thesizer that makes it fully compatible 
with the popular Ad Lib Music Card. 
The day it hit store shelves, the Sound 
Blaster could be used with hundreds 
of Ad Lib compatible games and edu- 
cational programs. To add even more 
value, the original Sound Blaster in- 
cluded a DAC (Digital to Analog Con- 
verter) for digitized voice and sound 
| effects, a microphone jack for voice 
j input, a built-in game port, a built-in 
| 4-watt amplifier, and an optional 
I MIDI interface. 

The built-in mixer makes the 
Sound Blaster Pro fully compliant 
with Microsoft's Multimedia Level 1 
I Extensions to Windows. Multimedia 
software will be able to fade-in, fade- 
out, and pan the various audio 
sources to create elaborate sound 

The Sound Blaster Pro includes a 
CD-ROM interface for cither an inter- 
nal or external CD-ROM player. 

There's also an internal connector for 
CD-Audio. The MIDI interface is 
compatible with the original Sound 
Blaster's MIDI interface, but adds the 
MIDI time-stamp that's part of 
Microsoft's new multimedia standard. 
All in all, the Sound Blaster Pro is 
chock-full of new features, yet it's fully 
compatible with its younger brother. 


Scheduled Release: September 1991 
For IBM PC and compatibles— $299.95 

2050 Duane Ave. 
Santa Clara. CA 95054 
(408) 986-1461 




Sound Blaster 
Does It All 

Review by Harvey Bernstein 

h e Sound Blaster has s o many 

audio applications packed into 

one half-sized board that it 

almost boggles the mind. First. 

it has an 1 1 -voice stereo music 

synthesizer that is fully compatible with the 

widely used AdLib sound format. Older 

software that only supports the AdLib board 

will automatically turn on the AdLib mode — 

no adjustment by the user is necessary. A 

separate channel is exclusively for 

reproducing digitized speech. A microphone 

jack on the back of the card allows you to 

digitize your own input voices. With a 4-watt 

stereo amplifier built in. you can run speakers 

or headphones directly from the card — no 

additional amplification is necessary. A 

standard joystick port also doubles as a MIDI 

interface, allowing you to connect a 

synthesizer or any other MIDI instrument. 

Combine this with an excellent library of 

software, and it is easy to see why the Sound 

Blaster has become so popular. 

The Sound Bt^^* 1 "* 
3BBESSJ!StJflS ^ou" d Blaster worth [he 

i nvestment? Yes, v es. a thousand times 

yes II! When you hear how much the Sound | 

Blaster increases the capabilities of your 

PC. you'll wonder how you ever got along 

without one. <25^ I 

Now you can get the number one sound card as part of our new Multimedia CREATIVE LflBS 
Upgrade Kit. Which also comes with a MIDI kit, an internal CD-ROM drive f* fll I M Ft 
and 5 CD-ROM titles, including Microsoft® Bookshelf® and Windows™ with dUUSl&S 
Multimedia Extensions. In all, $2,000 worth of goodies for just under $850. ni JI&TED <£! 
So before you get into multimedia, call 1-800-544-6146 or see your dealer. §jf ^rlw I Ell ^^ 
You'll like what you hear. 

ftjjfc PC Creative Labs, Inc., 2050 Duane Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95054 Telephone: (408) 986-1461 Fax: (408) 986-1777 For international information, fax Creative Technology 
flPUffiffi i w a t (65) 773 0353. Sound Blaster is a registered trademark of Creative Labs, Inc. Windows and Bookshelf are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 

Circle 146 on Inquiry Card. 

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Caching holds the key to system performance 


Everyone talks about MHz and mil- 
lion instructions per second, but 
CPU speed, no matter how you 
measure it, isn't really a good guide 
to system performance. Even a rocket-fast 
50-MHz 486 can be hamstrung by poor 
data throughput. The fastest CPU in the 
world can go only as fast as its data flow 

Today's hot chips run into two data- 
throughput problems. First, memory hasn't 
kept up with the CPU. Memory chips with 
60-nanosecond access times may sound 
fast to you, but even a 25-MHz 486 can 
be left gasping for data by these chips. The 
second headache is that secondary storage 
(e.g., hard drives and floppy drives) is far 
slower than memory. The best raw access 
time you can expect from commercial 
products is about 9 milliseconds, an eter- 
nity for even 68000 or 286 chips. 

One Solution 

Caching is the solution to both these prob- 
lems. This has led to some confusion, 
though, because you're talking about ap- 
ples and oranges when it comes to imple- 

Memory caching, like that found on the 
in-board caches of the 486, 68040, and 
IBM 386SLC, is meant to improve through- 
put from the chip to the memory. This 
kind of caching won't significantly speed 
up disk access. 

Disk caching, represented by programs 
such as Multisoft's PC-Kwik and drive- 
caching controllers like Perspective Solu- 
tions' HyperStore 1 600, is another story 
entirely (see the text box "Software or the 
Controller?"on page 178). Software uses a 
portion of main memory to speed disk ac- 
cesses, and caching controllers make use of 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 175 


dedicated on-board memory for the same 

It Looks Like a Cache 

Not everything that looks like a cache de- 
serves that title. Each of MS-DOS's buf- 
fers, for instance, is a 512-byte storage 
area for data shuttling back and forth from 
the memory to the disk. MS-DOS's buffers 
also hold disk file-table and directory in- 

Buffers, however, use little intelligence 
in managing the information that flows 
through them. Relying on the first-in /first- 
out (FIFO) concept, DOS buffers are al- 
most too simple to be caches. There's no 
hard-and-fast rule on the difference be- 
tween buffers and caches, but a good rule 
of thumb is that caches manage data and 
buffers merely store data. 

Not all disk drive controllers with stat- 
ic RAM have real caching. Some have a 
16- to 64-KB SRAM storage area that is 
used only as a high-speed buffer. Other 
controllers add more oomph to their data- 
handling abilities by adding read-ahead 
capabilities. Many IDE drives include this 
performance booster in their bag of tricks. 

With read-ahead capabilities, the con- 
troller reads not only the sectors containing 
the data called for by the CPU, but addi- 
tional sectors from the same track. This 
method of disk I/O relies on temporal lo- 
cality. When possible, most operating sys- 
tems write information sequentially on a 
disk's tracks. This improves the chances 
that, by reading ahead, the controller's 
cache will contain the data that the pro- 
cessor will need next. More advanced 
buffering controllers (e.g., the Western 
Digital WD1009V-SE2 and the Adaptec 
ACB-2322D) buffer entire tracks of data. 

Cache Design 

To make more sophisticated caches, de- 
signers must juggle a bewildering array of 



Many believe that choosing the 
biggest cache option will guar- 
antee peak performance for 
their new system. A cache will 
affect performance, but it isn't 
always for the better. Caches, 
systems, and applications must 
be matched. 

considerations. There's a good reason there 
are so many different cache programs and 
hardware: There are no easy answers to 
the question of how to build a cache. Take, 
for example, that favorite cache bromide: 
Bigger is always better. Wrong. Bigger 
caches are usually better, but not always. 

The data-set model demonstrates that in- 
creasing the cache's size results in a signif- 
icant increase in performance at first. How- 
ever, as the cache starts to become large 
enough to hold an entire data set, its per- 
formance-rate increase slows dramatically. 

This phenomenon occurs for several 
reasons. Some are purely implementation 
matters. For instance, the cache program's 
processing overhead can begin to impact 
the cache's overall performance. Good 
cache management algorithms aren't small 
in terms of space or processor requirements. 

A more fundamental problem is that a 
cache can become so large that more time 
is spent pulling information from it than 
would be taken digging the data out of 
memory. There really can be too much of 
a good thing, and overlarge caches are a 
perfect example. 

Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better 

Other ingredients in cache recipes are data 
tags and data lines. In the most common 
type of cache, data is arranged using the 
set-associate model. In this paradigm, a 
cache is divided into at least two parts: 
data-tag space (sometimes called the cache 
directory) and data-line space. 

Data-tag space holds the data tags, and 
it's like the cache's phone book. By quick- 
ly running its figurative finger down the 
data tags, the cache controller can quickly 
find the location of the desired data. These 
tags are connected to their matching data 
lines by pointers or linked lists. Each tag 
usually holds the base address to a set, or 
block, of data lines. 

Data lines hold the cached data. These 
lines vary in length, but they are usually a 
multiple of the maximum word size that a 
processor can handle. A 386 processor's 
data lines, for instance, could be no small- 
er than 4 bytes, because the 386 is a 32-bit 

The longer data lines are, the more ef- 
ficient the cache is. In a 32-KB cache, 32- 
by te data lines work far better than 4-byte 
lines. This works for the same reason that 
larger caches work better: Longer lines 
hold more data. In terms of the working-set 
model, longer data lines increase the spa- 
tial locality of a working set. 

Alas, longer data lines aren't a panacea 
for building efficient caches. There's no 
rule that determines the proper blend of 
cache size and data-line length. For a fixed 
cache size and a given work load, it's dif- 

ficult, but possible, to calculate the ideal 
data-line length. It's not an ideal world, 
however, and cache designers sweat blood 
trying to balance cache size and data-line 
length to make the best possible cache. 

Fetch for the Cache 

When a cache starts up, it contains no data; 
the cache is in a cold-start state. As pro- 
grams call for data, the cache begins to fill 
up, and its effectiveness increases. Cache 
controllers decide what data will be fetched 
into the cache by one of two schemes. 

Demand fetch is the first of these ap- 
proaches. It is only when the CPU de- 
mands data that the cache does not con- 
tain that the cache controller goes to main 
memory or secondary storage for the in- 
formation it needs. The demand-fetch ap- 
proach works. It offers the sterling advan- 
tage of keeping data fetching simple and 
stupid. It's not, however, very efficient. 

Far more popular are the prefetch de- 
signs. The problem here is that there's no 
crystal ball predicting exactly what infor- 
mation the CPU will require next. 

Caches generally do well with flat-mem- 
ory or contiguous file systems by always 
fetching the next physically adjacent data 
element for the cache. If a program calls 
for data in memory location a% the cache 
will also haul in the data from location y. 
This quick-and-dirty implementation is 
called one block look-ahead (OBL). 

As usual, though, when a solution looks 
fast and easy, there's a catch. In this case, 
bus- and memory-traffic overhead is the 
obstacle that keeps OBL from being an 
ideal solution. Prefetch schemes that are 
always moving data out of storage can 
cause memory- and bus-traffic jams on 
even the fastest of systems. 

Traffic overhead is not the only problem 
with constantly prefetching data. By 
pulling in new data all the time, old data 
(which may still be needed) can be booted 
out of the cache. 

These problems don't make cache de- 
signers happy. One of their responses has 
been to make caches prefetch data only 
after the controller can not find it in the 
cache. This approach alleviates the traffic 
problem, but it produces caches that per- 
form only marginally better than caches 
without prefetching. 

Fortunately, there's a better way. By 
prefetching data when there's been a hit 
on a prefetched data line as well as when 
there's been a miss, cache performance 
approaches that of caches that always pre- 
fetch data. This tagged prefetching works be- 
cause it enables the cache to more closely 
model the current working set. At the same 
time, tagged prefetching has only a fraction 
of the impact on memory bandwidth as 

176 BYTE -MARCH 1992 

^ \r \ 





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Circle 1 1 9 on Inquiry Card. 


Software or the Controller? 

Which is better, cache software 
or caching controllers? There's 
no question which one makes 
more of an impact on your wal- 
let. Caching controllers may give your 
personal computer a much-needed 
boost, but they're not cheap. Prices in 
the thousand-dollar range are common. 
Caching programs, on the other hand, 
are sometimes free, because they're in- 
cluded with the operating system. MS- 
DOS, Unix, and Novell NetWare all 
come with caching programs. At most, 
caching software will cost only a few 
hundred dollars. 

Choosing between spending more 
than a grand for the caching controller 
or $200 for caching software may 
sound like a no-brain decision, but it's 
not. Both hardware and software sec- 
ondary-storage caching have their ad- 
vantages and disadvantages. 

Soft Cache 

Software caches have more than price 
going for them. With a cache program, 
you often get control of cache size and 
behavior. This additional flexibility ca 
be a great boon. If you have a RAM- 
hog application dema ding every pos- 
sible byte, you can adjust the cache size 
to give the rude application its fill of 
space. A controller's dedicated memo- 
ry is untouchable. 

Another point in a software cache's 
favor is that it's temporally closer to 
the CPU. No matter how fast a caching 
controller's memory is, its speed is 
straitjacketed b y its need t o communi- 
cate with the CPU across the bus. A 
software cache, even though it is lo- 

cated in memory that's usually twice 
as slow as that in an intelligent con- 
troller, can get the data to the CPU 
faster. For instance, on a system with 
70-nanosecond main-memory chips 
and an ISA bus, an efficient software 
cache could beat out a caching con- 
troller with 25~ns static RAM chips. 
The slow bus would simply prove to 
be too high an obstacle for the con- 
troller to hurdle. 

Finally, a software cache usually im- 
proves the perf ormance of all data-stor- 
age devices in a system. The caching 
controller can only effect searches that 
access attached devices. 

It's not all wine and roses for soft- 
ware caches, though. Cache programs 
take up part of main memory. For op- 
erating systems like MS-DOS with only 
640 KB of storage for programs, this 
is not a trifling matter. 

Software caches also require their 
fair share of CPU time. On a lightly 
loaded system, this isn't a problem. 
Computers used for CPU-intensive 
tasks or multitasking may not have 
spare clock cycles for a cache's de- 
mands. The caching advantage of im- 
proved throughput will overshadow this 
problem, but a caching controller would 
have avoided it altogether. 

Hard Cache 

The pluses and minuses of controller 
caches are almost a mirror image of 
those of software caches. Although 
hardware caching is far more expen- 
sive than its program-bound brethren, 
its performance is much better than 
software caching on EISA or Micro 

Channel architecture bus-based sys- 

A controller-bound cache doesn't 
burden the CPU with its own work or 
memory management. The CPU can 
stick to worrying about its programs 
and not worry about the cache. A side 
benefit of this is that caching controllers 
won't cause software conflicts. Soft- 
ware caches ca occasionally clash with 
other programs, even in single-tasking 
operating systems. Caching controllers 
don't have this problem. In the Intel- 
based world, for instance, almost all 
caching controllers hide their com- 
plexities behind the register-level mask 
of the industry-standard Western Dig- 
ital WD 1003 controller. No matter what 
your operating system, your computer 
should never have any compatibility 
problems with this approach. 

What to Do 

Contrary to some reports, there's real- 
ly little question about when each type 
of caching is appropriate. Multiuser or 
multitasking systems, regardless of bus 
type, should go with hardware caching. 
Also, systems that demand high per- 
formance and have an EISA or Micro 
Channel bus to match that demand 
should be equipped with caching con- 
trollers. Conversely, ISA or other slow- 
bus computers will do better with soft- 
ware caching, all other factors being 
equal. For computers in that gray a ea 
where their technology a d usage make 
it debatable which wauld be the most 
appropriate upgrade, vote with your 
pocketbook and go with additional 
main memory and software caching. 

prefetching only on misses. 

Is tagged prefetching the Holy Grail of 
cache design? No, it's not, because it, too, 
has its share of problems. Implementing 
tagged prefetching requires far more in- 
telligence on the part of the cache program 
or hardware than its simpler counterparts. 
Caches that must contend with other pro- 
grams for the CPU's attention can be less 
efficient in total system performance than 
their more stupid cousins. 

Another problem is that any prefetch- 
ing plan is highly sensitive to the data-line 

length. Usually, long data lines help any 
cache. With prefetching, long data lines 
can waste space. Whether tagged prefetch- 
ing is the ideal solution for a particular 
cache depends on too many other vari- 
ables for there to be any easy answer. 

Designing Caches 

There are three basic cache designs. The 
first, and the easiest to design, is direct 
mapping. In direct mapping, the cache's 
data lines correspond with storage's data 
addresses on a one-to-one basis. Deter- 

mining if a particular data element is in the 
cache takes only a few clock cycles. Ei- 
ther the data is in its cache pigeonhole, or 
it's not and must be fetched from storage. 
This one-to-one correspondence is di- 
rect mapping's Achilles' heel. The cache is 
not as large as main memory, much less 
secondary storage. Because each cache 
address line must go to more than one 
memory location, inefficiency is built into 
the design. Say that cache data line one is 
directly mapped to locations a and/'. The 
cache is able to hold data from only one 

178 BYTE -MARCH 1992 

EXB-120 CHS 


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Micro Channel is a trademark of IBM 

location. When a program calls for data 
from both locations, the cache program 
will be unable to cache both a and/, even 
if there's a vacancy left in the cache. 

The opposite of direct mapping is fully 
associative caching. In caches of this de- 
sign, there is no fixed mapping of memo- 
ry or storage. Instead, cache data lines can 
be set to map to any memory location. 

Sounds great, doesn't it? A fully asso- 
ciative cache should correspond, within 
the limits of cache space, to the working 
set. The catch here is that in return for hav- 
ing more of the appropriate data in the 
cache, the cache takes longer to search. 

Remember, in a direct-mapping cache, 
finding out if a data element is present is a 
lead-pipe cinch. If the information is not in 
the cache, the controller doesn't need to 
waste time looking for it. An associative- 
cache program must search through the 
cache's entire tag list before giving up. 

What is the best solution? Many de- 
signers believe that a compromise, set-as- 
sociative caches, offer the best general 
cache performance potential. Set-associa- 
tive caches can be found in such designs as 
the Motorola 68040, the Intel 82385 cache 
controller chip, and the 486. 

In set-associative designs, the cache 
space is divided into two or more separate 
spaces. The 68040, for instance, uses a 
four-way set-associative design. Both the 
4-KB instruction and data caches are di- 

vided into four 1-KB memory areas that 
contain 64 sets of 1 6-byte data lines. Each 
set virtually corresponds to a physical 
address. In essence, each set is directly 
mapped to a section of memory. Within 
each set, though, the data lines are given 
their data assignments in an associative 

When the 68040 goes in search of data, 
the memory management unit translates 
the virtual addresses to physical addresses. 
Simultaneously, the MMU searches the 
appropriate cache line set for the data. This 
can happen because the least-significant 
address bits are the same for both address 
types. The result is that you get the bene- 
fits of direct mapping's raw speed along 
with the fully associative cache's ability 
to closely follow the working set. 

Where Has My Data Gone? 

One question that frequently comes up in 
cache design is how a processor should 
search for data. Many designers support 
look-through (serial) caches. In this plan, 
the processor looks in storage for data only 
after it has made sure that the data isn't 
in the cache. In the alternative approach, 
look-aside (parallel) caches, the processor 
searches both areas at the same time. 

Like almost everything else in caching, 
there are good things and bad things about 
both of these designs. The problems are 
symptomatic of the usual trouble between 


the two approaches. Look-through designs 
are easier to create, but they can be slow- 
er than look-aside designs. Look-aside de- 
signs can be much more troublesome to 
implement, but they tend to be faster. 

Keeping the Data Hot 

Because caches have finite space for stor- 
age, it doesn't take long for that space 
to fill up. Deciding what data should be 
thrown out of the cache to make room for 
the new arrivals is a difficult decision. 

Simple caches use FIFO. This keeps 
processing overhead at a minimum. Un- 
fortunately, it also means that FIFO caches 
have trouble keeping the working set of 
large programs in the cache. 

A more promising avenue to explore 
has been the least recently used criterion. 
LRU algorithms determine what data to 
toss out of the cache by tracking when the 
data was last used. Whatever data hasn't 
been touched for the longest time (and is 
least likely t o b e part o f the working set) i s 
pushed out of the cache. 

LRU implementations aren't perfect. 
The trouble here is that some space must 
be set aside in either the data space or the 
tag space to track the usage of each data 
line. This leaves less room for data. It also 
means that a cache controller, an MMU, or 
a CPU will be stuck with the job of track- 
ing data-line usage. That leaves less time 
for other work. 

Reading and Writing 

Most cache-design issues are hidden from 
users. One that isn't is the question of 
when a cache should write its data back 
to storage. The choices are write-through 
and several flavors of posted-write. In a 
way, it's rather curious that this area of 
caching has been highlighted for public 
attention. Reads outnumber writes by 9 to 
1. Improving a cache's write performance 
just doesn't make that much difference to 
overall I/O. 

In write-through designs, any data 
change is cause for the change to be writ- 
ten to data storage. The downside of this 
simple approach is that it can decrease 
memory and/or bus bandwidth when oth- 
er processes need it more. 

One variation of the write-through de- 
sign that addresses the bandwidth issue is 
the buffered write-through. In these caches, 
small data writes (usually no more than a 
few machine words) are put into the hands 
of the cache controller. The CPU is free 
to look for its next byte of data. If the CPU 
finds its data in the cache, the controller 
writes the changed data to storage while 
the CPU reads from the cache. When the 
CPU needs to go to storage, the write is 
made to storage first (negating the buffered 

180 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 36 on Inquiry Card. 


write-through design's advantage), and the 
CPU reads from storage. 

The posted-write approach gets around 
potential bandwidth traffic jams by not al- 
lowing any writes until the system is rela- 
tively idle. There are two ideas on when 
these writes should occur: always copy- 
back and flagged copy-back. If a cache 
implements an always-copy-back ap- 
proach, all cached data will eventually be 
written back to storage, even when the 
data line is unchanged. Flagged-copy-back 
systems cut down on data traffic by post- 
ing only changed data lines to storage. 

Some trouble comes with the advan- 
tages of these caching techniques. First 
and foremost, any kind of posted-write 
caching means there's a discrepancy be- 
tween the data in the cache and the data 
in storage. Before DMA, that wasn't much 
of a problem. Now, though, on many ar- 
chitectures and systems, it's quite possi- 
ble for a device to make a change to mem- 
ory without going through the CPU or the 
cache. Processes can become completely 
befuddled trying to work with invalid 
copies of data because there's no easy way 
to tell which copy is the valid one. 

The 68040 (which has five caching 
modes, including one with copy-back) uses 
several techniques to combat copy-back's 
problems. The first is bus snooping, the 
approach most often used by cache con- 
trollers. The 68040 can monitor data in- 
puts on the bus. In the event of a possible 
data conflict, the chip can bypass memory 
and either read data from its internal pair of 
4-KB caches or take data directly from 
the bus. 

As a second barrier against data cor- 
ruption, the 68040 employs noncachable 
serialization. In this particular mode, the 
CPU skips over the cache for I/O opera- 
tions that might be hampered by delayed 

The concern that weighs on people's 
minds about delayed writes is what hap- 
pens if the system goes down. This is a 
real problem. Some operating systems, 
Unix most prominently, can cope to a de- 
gree with this kind of office disaster. Unix 
keeps its master file records (i.e., the su- 
perblock) in memory, and it updates the 
on-disk version only when the system pe- 
riodically runs the sync command. Not 
every operating system has an f sck util- 
ity that can repair some of the damage left 
behind when a system failure maroons un- 
written data in memory. 

No one likes to clean up a system after 
a crash. The speed gained with delayed 
writes is too small to justify their use in 
most circumstances. Only users who need 
the fastest possible throughput should both- 
er with delayed writes. 

V Provides from 2 to 128 Mbytes of fast memory. 
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PS/2 and Micro Channel are trademarks of IBM 

Making the Cache Call 

Those are most of the parts of the cache 
puzzle, but how can you tell when a cache 
is working well? The main objective of 
any cache is to achieve the highest possi- 
ble hit rate. The hit rate is determined by 
how many times the processor finds the 
requested data in the cache instead of hav- 
ing to go to storage. To merit high marks, 
a warm-state cache should have a hit rate 
that averages better than 90 percent. 

The hit rate is not the only factor that 
measures success. An outstanding cache 
should also be able to send back the data 
quickly to the processor once it's been 
found. On the other hand, an exceptional 
cache should be able to report quickly 
when the data isn't present in the cache. 
This last factor is what usually trips fully 
associative caches. 

With all these factors to consider, you 
might wonder how anyone ever builds a 
cache in the first place. One trick up cache 
designers' sleeves is to use cache-simula- 
tion programs. The Dinero III cache sim- 
ulator, a freeware program by Mark D. 
Hill for SunOS and Berkeley Standard 
Distribution (Unix), enables developers to 
test their cache ideas before writing them 
to silicon. The Dinero III is a trace-driven 
simulator (i.e., made up of a set of C and 
awk programs) with many options that 
make it ideal for testing hardware and soft- 
ware cache assumptions. 

Practical Considerations 

Dinero III may make life easier for devel- 
opers, but it doesn't do anything for end 
users. The market is flooded with a be- 
wildering variety of cache programs and 
hardware. That won't be changing any- 
time soon. There are simply too many vari- 
ables in the caching equations for anyone 
to come up with a magic solution that will 
sweep away all other competitors from the 

For the most part, someone buying a 
cache won't know what mix of caching 
techniques have been selected. Cache de- 
signers guard their precious code creations 
as if they were the crown jewels. Some 
caches (e.g., Multisoft's Super PC-Kwik) 
give you command-line options so that 
you can turn on and off features such as 
full-track look-ahead buffering and posted- 

No matter what the formula is, all com- 
puters need caching. Secondary storage 
can never keep up with the CPU. Things 
aren't much better with primary-storage 
access speeds. In the race between memory 
latency and CPU speed, the CPUs contin- 
ue to forge ahead. With the help of caches, 
our systems will try to keep up. ■ 

Steven J. Vauglian-Nichols is a full-time 
freelance writer and former program- 
mer /analyst from Lanham, Maryland. You 
can contact him on BIX as "sjvn. " 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 181 

486/860 Speed... 
Microway Quality. 

Microway has engineered four distinctive black tower 
systems. The 486-B 2 T is designed for high-end users. 
It comes standard with American 486 motherboards and 
power supplies, yet has a reasonable starting price of 
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high speed and capacity hard disks, intelligent serial con- 
trollers, tape back-up units, high end graphics adapters 
and our Number Smasher-860. These systems are ideal 
for configuring Novell or UNIX file servers, multiuser 
systems, and workstations for graphics, CAD and scien- 
tific uses. The 486-B 2 T comes with dual fans, Across the 
Board™ Cooling and American industrial grade power 
supplies. All systems are thoroughly tested, burned in and 
include the best technical support in the industry, which 
we've provided since 1982. 


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megaflops doing FFTs and 11.8 Double Precision Unpack 
Megaflops on large arrays— ten times the speed of a 486 
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recently reported that his "Baby Cray" was happily 
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Storage standards and automation are the keys to managing files and storage devices 
spread across a building or a continent 

As networks grow larger and more 
complex, the problems you en- 
counter trying to manage data files, 
applications, and general archiving 
become more acute. The solution to these 
problems is automated storage manage- 
ment for distributed networks. Already 
available for supercomputers and main- 
frames, automated storage management 
systems are beginning to appear for net- 
works of Unix machines and even, to some 
extent, for PC LANs. 

Ideally, automated or intelligent net- 
work storage management embraces two 
key capabilities: transparent access to all 
files on the network and management of 
the hierarchy (or hierarchies) of mass-stor- 
age devices. Transparent access means 
that you can call up a file without knowing 
where it resides and the system will find 
it for you. Hierarchical storage manage- 
ment includes, but is not limited to, the 
following key capabilities: 

• automatic migration of files from disk 
to tape or even optical storage, 
depending on frequency of use, disk 
space, and other parameters 

• automatic backup and restoration . 

• automatic archiving 

True open distributed computing calls 
for a distributed file system, not just with 
global file access but with transparent ac- 
cess as well. The Unix world gained fully 
transparent file access with the Andrew 
File System, and that capability will be 
made available to other operating systems, 
thanks to the Open Software Foundation. 
The OSF developed the Distributed Com- 
puting Environment (DCE) (see "Dis- 
tributed Open Environments," November 



MARCH 1992 -BYTE 183 









jM wL 




Mass-storage devices 

Data Facility 

Storage Management 


Figure 1 : IBM's vision of the future for what it calls system-managed storage is 
based on its Data Facility Storage Management Subsystem. The near-term 
extensions will be to clients and servers running under IBM's A1X and OS/2 and 
under SunOS, for uploading to an MVSIESA computer for backup and archiving. 
(WS = workstation.) 

1991 BYTE), which adopted AFS for its 
file-system component called, the Dis- 
tributed File Service (DFS). 


Developed at Carnegie Mellon University 
with substantial funding from IBM and 



Managing storage in a dis- 
tributed environment requires 
a transparent distributed file 
system and standards for au- 
tomatic control of mass-stor- 
age systems. The Andrew File 
System provides the trans- 
parency needed for transpar- 
ent file access. Groups such 
as the IEEE Technical Com- 
mittee on Mass Storage Sys- 
tems are developing systems 
that automate the migration 
and archiving of network files. 

commercialized by Transarc (Pittsburgh), 
AFS delivers location independence, rather 
than just location transparency. Location 
independence means that a file can be 
moved at will without a change in its name 
and thus is the property that is required 
for fully transparent access. It is a stronger 
property than location transparency, which 
means only that an application cannot de- 
termine the location of a file from its name. 
In contrast to AFS, the de facto standard in 
the Unix world, Sun Microsystems' Net- 
work File System (NFS), offers only lo- 
cation transparency — that is, once a client 
machine has mounted a file system, the 
application does not know the physical lo- 
cation of the files. 

Location independence requires a ful- 
ly location-independent naming scheme. 
AFS uses a common name space within a 
network; thus, all AFS users see the same 
file tree from anywhere in the network. In 
addition, a common name space means 
that AFS offers unlimited scalability. 

What's more, AFS's name space is ac- 
tually global. (Transarc helps sites maintain 
the global name space, which requires ac- 
cess to a regional network. However, a 
site can choose not to participate.) Con- 
sequently, a user on one network who con- 
nects to another will see the latter 's AFS 
files in his or her directory tree. In this 
way, AFS users have easy access to files 
across the country or around the world. 

AFS consists of client/server elements 

and requires an Internet Protocol network. 
AFS servers handle volumes (i.e., collec- 
tions of files and directories) that are not 
limited to a fixed amount of disk space. 
(Typically, each user is assigned a vol- 
ume.) Volumes are connected at mount 
points, forming a single directory tree; 
therefore, not only do you have transparent 
access to all the files, but you have that 
access from any AFS machine on the net- 
work. A set of databases keeps track of all 
the volume locations and other system 
management information. 

When you call a remote file, it is copied 
into local cache memory, directed by 
AFS's local (client) cache manager. The 
original version of AFS put the entire file 
into cache memory; AFS 3 moves 64-KB 
chunks into cache memory, thus reducing 
network traffic. AFS uses a callback 
scheme to ensure cache coherency. When 
you write to a file, the server notifies all the 
clients using the file that their cache mem- 
ory is no longer valid and then updates the 
file. When a client issues the next read re- 
quest, its cache manager gets the updated 
version from the server. 

Among other changes, the OSF's DFS 
replaces the callback procedure with a to- 
ken-passing scheme that includes several 
levels of access privileges, specified by 
each file's creator and assigned to poten- 
tial users. More important, DFS will add 
protocol exporters, so that it can work 
with Unix, NFS, PC-NFS, and eventually, 
other file systems. 

Standardizing Mass Storage 

DCE and AFS provide part of the under- 
lying pieces for automated network stor- 
age in a distributed environment. Other 
groundwork is being laid by the IEEE 
Technical Committee on Mass Storage 
Systems and Technology. The committee 
is well along in the development of the 
IEEE Mass Storage Reference Model (see 
"Enterprising Storage," September 1991 
BYTE, page 218), which will form the ba- 
sis for a set of standards for network-stor- 
age interchange. It is being developed by 
the committee's IEEE Storage Systems 
Standards Working Group. Industry mem- 
bers include Amdahl, Ampex, AT&T, 
Convex, Cray Research, Datatape, DEC, 
the Distributed Computing Solutions (Dis- 
cos) Division of General Atomics, Epoch 
Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Stor- 
age Technology. 

The promise held out by projects such as 
the DCE — and its companion Distributed 
Management Environment — and by the 
standards that the IEEE seeks to develop 
are heterogeneous distributed networks, 
where you can call up files and data any- 
where on a network without knowing the 

184 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


Managing National Assets 

Responding to the information- 
storage and -retrieval needs 
emerging from advanced scien- 
tific research at government lab- 
oratories and universities, as well as 
from advances in high-performance 
networking, in which gigabytes and 
even terabytes of data are being or will 
be generated and shared, members of 
the computer industry have organized a 
collaborative research project to accel- 
erate the development of technology 
for storage systems "that will be the 
future repositories for our national in- 
formation assets," according to the draft 
paper describing the project. The in- 
dustry participants are IBM's Federal 
Sector Division, Ampex Recording 
Systems, General Atomics' Distributed 
Computing Solutions Division, IBM's 
Storage Systems Products Division, 
Maximum Strategy, Network Systems, 
and Zitel. In addition, Lawrence Liv- 
ermore National Laboratory will par- 
ticipate as the operational site and the 
applications supplier. 

The industry members are funding 
their own participation. They are, how- 
ever, seeking to affiliate the project, 
called Technology for National Asset 
Storage Systems, with the U.S. gov- 
ernment's High-Performance Comput- 

ing and Communications Initiative. 

The project's goal is a unified storage 
system that is scalable to support mam- 
moth quantities of data distributed na- 
tionally. The intention is to create a 
prototype and demonstration system 
that will represent a "significant ad- 
vance in the technology for distributed 
storage systems capable of handling 
gigabyte-class files at gigabyte-per- sec- 
ond data rates." The system will sup- 
port the widely accepted file access 
mechanisms (e.g., the Andrew File Sys- 
tem [AFS]; the Network File System; 
the File Transfer Protocol; and the File 
Transfer, Access, and Management pro- 

Specifically, the participants expect 
the project to make major advances in 
hardware, software, and systems tech- 
nology in the following areas: 

• network-attached high-performance 

• multiple, dynamic, distributed 
storage hierarchies 

• layered access to storage system 
services (i.e., to levels in the storage 

• storage system management 

The project identifies many aspects 

in which a national asset-storage system 
must be unified. Beyond tying togeth- 
er multiple-storage sites and users 
across the country, such a system must 
be unified across data types and across 
user needs. It must span a range of file 
types from small text files to huge files 
of sensor-based data. It must also serve 
the diverse needs of users, from those 
who need highly abstract access to 
transparently managed files to users 
whose performance needs preclude ab- 
straction and transparent access (e.g., 
different requirements for caching and 

All the members of the project are 
also members of the IEEE Storage Sys- 
tems Standards Working Group, and 
the four areas of the project are being 
considered by the standards group. The 
group has asked for prototype imple- 
mentations to test and verify the ad- 
vanced concepts being discussed. The 
intention is that the prototype to be de- 
veloped by the National Asset Storage 
System project will serve as such a pro- 
totype for the standards group. 

The starting points for new software 
development will be General Atomics' 
UniTree hierarchical file and storage 
management system and Transarc's 
AFS distributed file system. 

location and the filenames, and where all 
mass-storage systems are managed auto- 
matically and invisibly. (The DME will 
address hierarchical storage management 
in the future.) 

Making the automatic management of 
mass-storage systems possible requires in- 
formation not only about filenames, their 
locations, and the access privileges but 
also about a file's contents. Such infor- 
mation is called metadata. Location and 
access information would be stored on the 
servers. This information already exists in 
AFS's databases. Metadata representing 
a file's contents would reside on client ma- 
chines. The capability to create metadata is 
still a good way off. 

Automatic Management 

In managing storage, network administra- 
tors must be able to free up disk space on 
client machines and servers when neces- 

186 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

sary; place files on the least expensive stor- 
age medium that is appropriate, based on 
access requirements; ensure the safety of 
all data through adequate backup and ar- 
chiving; and restore or retrieve files from 
backup or archival storage as needed. The 
automation of those and other manage- 
ment tasks is called network storage man- 
agement, or sometimes hierarchical stor- 
age management. (As in most areas, the 
terminology is imprecise. Most people 
would argue that hierarchical storage man- 
agement is a subset of network storage 
management, and, indeed, many people 
talk about managing multiple hierarchies. 
For these people, the storage hierarchy is 
not a concept but a specific storage orga- 
nization with a specific type of medium 
or storage device at each level.) 

Ideally, the network-storage manage- 
ment system would track all files accord- 
ing to a set of parameters that the network 

administrator specifies, and it would track 
an individual's files that you specify. It 
then would move the files from a local or 
file server disk to tape or optical storage. 
The two most common parameters are disk 
utilization (i.e., maximum and minimum) 
and the time of last access (when disk uti- 
lization reaches the maximum, a "least- 
recently used" algorithm is commonly em- 
ployed; conversely, a file below the top 
of the hierarchy could move up). Such 
transfer of files from one level to another 
is called///^ migration. 

The removal of inactive files to sec- 
ondary storage is also known as disk 
grooming, especially in the PC world. 
However, some people call only the move- 
ment of a file down the hierarchy migra- 
tion; movement up the hierarchy is then 
sometimes called retrieval, sometimes 
caching. In addition, the retrieval of a 
backup copy is called restoration. 


Gillie DECpc 433 
mixes top PC performance 
with networking and blazingly fast 
video performance.^^ 

PC Magazine 

Pretty hot stuff, 
huh? And that's 
not all PC 
Magazine felt fit 
to print about our 
DECpc™ 433 
Workstation. Just get a load of this: 
'The DECpc 433 adds value to the 
existing standard without sacrificing 
compatibility. What's more, this 
machine shows strength in an area 
where DEC knows a thing or two: 
the graphics workstation market." 

And how about this: "At 
$5,999?.. [this] machine is a PC 
designer's dream." 

Of course, far be it from us to 
censor one of the best PC sources in 
the business. Especially when it 
comes to this quote (our favorite): 
"If graphics speed is important 
to you, give the DECpc 433 a 
long hard look." 

Naturally, we encourage you to 
take them up on this suggestion. 

For more information on the 
DECpc 433, or any PC in Digital's 
line, call 1-800-PC-BY-DEC. 
Or talk today to one of your 
local Digital 


© Digital Equipment Corporation, 1992.The DIGITAL Logo and DECpc are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.486 and Intel Inside are trademarks of Intel Corp. * U.S. Pricing 

Circle 66 on Inquiry Card. 

Rack & Desk 
PC/AT Chassis 

Integrand's new Chassis/ System is not 
another IBM mechanical and electrical 
clone. An entirely fresh packaging design 
approach has been taken using modular 
construction. At present, over 40 optional 
stock modules allow you to customize our 
standard chassis to nearly any requirement. 
Integrand offers high quality, advanced 
design hardware along with applications 
and technical support ail at prices competi- 
tive with imports. Why settle for less? 


Rack & Desk Models 

Accepts PC, XT, AT Motherboards 
and Passive Backplanes 

Doesn't Look Like IBM 

Rugged, Modular Construction 
Excellent Air Flow & Cooling 

Optional Card Cage Fan 

Designed to meet FCC 

204 Watt Supply, UL Recognized 
145W & 85W also available 

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TELEX 5106012830 (INTEGRAND UD) 

FAX 209/651-1353 

We accept Bank Americard/VIS A and MasterCard 

IBM, PC, XT, AT trademarks of International Business Machines. 
Drives and computer boards not included. 

188 BYTE- MARCH 1992 



Client computers, 
FTP or NFS access 

Cray^ — 




disk file 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

Other workstations 
and PCs 



Optical disk 
Robotic tape cartridge 
Tape cartridge 
Open-reel tape 

Figure 2: UniTree from the Discos Division of General Atomics provides automatic 
and transparent file and storage management for Unix networks that use NFS or 
FTP access. Shown here in its simplest form, UniTree is being enhanced with 
software modules that run on client computers to form what the company calls a 
Virtual Disk System, whereby files are invisibly mi grated from a client or server disk 
further down the storage hierarchy. 

Automatic file migration, backup and 
restoration, archiving, defragmentation, 
and tracking of Hies and other storage man- 
agement activities are not new. They have 
existed for some time in the mainframe 
world. IBM, for instance, has the Data Fa- 
cility Storage Management Subsystem for 
MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) (see fig- 
ure 1), and DEC has utilities supplying 
many of those capabilities for VMS. In 
addition, Cray Research offers the Data 
Migration Facility and other storage man- 
agement tools and utilities. What's new is 
that they are beginning to appear in the 
world of desktop computers. 

With the irreversible drive to heteroge- 
neous distributed computing, the major 
computer makers are working to extend 
their storage management capabilities to 
smaller platforms, both through their own 
efforts and through groups such as the 
OSF, Unix International, and the IEEE 
Technical Committee on Mass Storage 
Systems and Technology. IBM announced 
last September that it would provide stor- 
age management services for AIX, Sun- 
OS, and OS/2 clients with an MVS server. 
These services will require users to initiate 
backup, recovery, and archiving; automatic 
services are further down the road, as is 
support for other platforms. Beyond those 
activities, IBM is taking part in a research 
project aimed at accelerating the develop- 
ment of technology for nationwide file 
systems with enormous amounts of data 

and multiple storage hierarchies (see the 
text box "Managing National Assets" on 
page 186). 

For its part, HP's Information Archi- 
tecture Group (Colorado Springs, CO) is 
defining a model for distributed informa- 
tion access and management. Called the 
Distributed Information Storage Archi- 
tecture, it includes a component called 
StoragePlus that provides automatic phys- 
ical storage management. Meanwhile, 
DEC's Architected Infomiation Manage- 
ment group is working with customers to 
define and develop the Distributed Het- 
erogeneous Storage Management archi- 
tecture, which will serve as the basis for 
new storage management products. Exist- 
ing products will start migrating to DHSM 
this year. 


A hierarchical file and storage manage- 
ment system, UniTree, is available for 
TCP/IP networks of Unix machines using 
NFS or the File Transfer Protocol (see fig- 
ure 2). The core of UniTree was devel- 
oped at Lawrence Livermore National 
Laboratory, originally as the file-serving 
component of a distributed operating sys- 
tem. The technology has been licensed by 
Discos (San Diego, CA), which is extend- 
ing the capabilities in a joint development 
program with Livermore. Discos licenses 
UniTree to computer makers and system 
integrators. (It offers a similar system for 

Imagine getting 

twice the Bernoulli for 

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The new Bernoulli 90MB. 

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respective companies. *Less than 13 msec with included caching software. ••U.S. only. tPhone number for U.S. and Canada. Internationally, call 322-720-9916. For customer service questions, call 1-800-456-5522. 

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VMS called Data Tree.) 

The current UniTree software, the Uni- 
Tree Central File Manager, runs on a serv- 
er as a Unix application. For optimal use of 
storage media or for archiving, it migrates 
files to off-line storage, according to pa- 
rameters set by the network administra- 
tor, and keeps track of the location of those 
files. When an off-line file is accessed, 
UniTree automatically restores it for im- 
mediate use. UniTree also provides con- 
tinuous automated backup and restoration, 
making up to 16 copies (the administra- 
tor determines the number) and automati- 
cally recalls a file from backup when you 
access it, and the on-line version is not 

Furthermore, when media or device er- 
rors occur, UniTree migrates the files re- 
siding on the failing disk or other device to 
alternative storage. UniTree lets you bring 
back deleted files through a "trash can" 
that retains deleted files for a period of 
time that you or the administrator specify. 

Capable of operating any peripheral de- 
vice that the file server vendor supports, 
UniTree can manage petabytes of data 
and millions of files. Indeed, there is no 
logical limit to the UniTree file system or 
to the number of files managed. 

Alliant, Amdahl, Control Data, Cray 
Research, DEC, Fujitsu, and Sun Micro- 
systems offer machines running UniTree. 
Within the last year or so, powerful file 
servers have been introduced for large 
heterogeneous networks by Aptec Sys- 
tems, a maker of I/O computers, and Con- 
vex Computer and FPS Computing, two 
minisupercomputer makers, incorporat- 
ing the software. As an example of Uni- 
Tree' s management capabilities, Convex' s 
file server won a contract from Sandia 
National Laboratories to supply a mass- 
storage system that provides functionally 
transparent access to 100 gigabytes of disk 
data, 1 terabyte of archival storage, and 
automatic file migration. 

Discos is readying a family of client- 
software modules that extend the capabil- 
ities and performance of the UniTree sys- 
tem. Users will have a varying degree of 
file access transparency, depending on the 
type and number of UniTree programs in- 
stalled on their client machine. The main 
module, the UniTree Client Disk Manag- 
er, will add the client machine's drive to 
the centrally managed UniTree storage hi- 
erarchy, migrating local files to the server 
and retrieving them automatically and 
transparently. Discos calls the enhanced 
version the Virtual Disk System, and in- 
deed, the ability to access, automatically 
and transparently, any file on the system is 
analogous to virtual memory. 

Offering similar capabilities for Unix/ 

NFS networks, but in a set of software and 
hardware products, is Epoch Systems 
(Westborough, MA). Epoch initially of- 
fered the Epoch-1 InflniteStorage Servers, 
capable of storing 20 gigabytes to 1 tera- 
byte in various configurations of magnet- 
ic disk and rewritable and write-once op- 
tical disks. The servers automatically 
migrate files among the three levels and 
perform automatic backup, disaster re- 
covery, volume management, and archiv- 
ing. Also, all storage remains on-line. 

The Renaissance software expands those 
capabilities. Renaissance Migration cen- 
trally manages all network disk space on 
both workstations and servers. All direc- 
tory and file-attribute information remains 
on the local disks so that the files appear to 
be local. Here, too, migrated files, includ- 
ing archival files, are automatically re- 
turned when accessed. 

Help for PC LANs 

Network storage management is no ex- 
ception to the general migration of fea- 
tures and capabilities from larger comput- 
ers and Unix workstations down into the 
PC arena. In fact, automation of storage 
management tasks is already available to 
some extent for PC LANs, especially Net- 
Ware. Cheyenne Software, Emerald Sys- 
tems, Maynard Electronics, Palindrome, 
and Tecmar offer NetWare products that 
automate storage management. In addi- 
tion, Mountain Network Solutions is de- 
veloping similar capabilities, and Novell is 
writing migration application program- 
ming interfaces for its Storage Manage- 
ment Services architecture to help third- 
party developers create automated storage 
products for NetWare. Still, overburdened 
network administrators will have to wait 
some time before the high-end capabili- 
ties of mainframes, of Unix servers incor- 
porating UniTree, or of Epoch's Renais- 
sance will be available for PC LANs. ■ 


1 would like to thank Sam Coleman of Law- 
rence Livermore National Laboratory, Bob 
Coyne of IBM, and Ann Kerr of the Scripps 
Institute of Oceanography. 1 would also 
like to thank Alan Kondoff of Hewlett- 
Packard, Steve Miller of SRI Internation- 
al, and Richard Wrenn of DEC (all active 
in the IEEE Technical Committee on Mass 
Storage Systems and Technology), Bob 
Barker ofMunin Systems, Dale Lancaster 
of Convex, and Cynthia Pilkington of 
Legato Systems. 

Mike Robinson is a freelance writer and 
editor in Lexington, Massachusetts, spe- 
cializing in electronics technologies. You 
can reach him on BIX do "editors" 

190 BYTE -MARCH 1992 

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To meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated systems and applications, 
drives are getting smarter 


Increasing levels of intelligence and 
automation are now appearing in 
drives. Several factors are behind this 
trend, including demands for higher 
performance and more fully featured soft- 
ware in both operating systems and appli- 
cations. For example, the size and com- 
plexity of Windows demands a lot more 
peripheral performance to run effectively 
than DOS does. 

Network operating systems like Nov- 
ell's NetWare and Banyan's Vines are also 
making new demands. Without high-speed 
peripherals, such systems encounter serious 
bottlenecks, particularly with multiple us- 
ers on a file server. Older and slower pe- 
ripherals cannot provide the performance 

Applications have moved along a simi- 
lar growth path. With the 640-KB DOS 
boundary no longer a problem and DRAM 
prices moderate, applications commonly 
use many megabytes of disk space for pro- 
grams and data. Increasingly sophisticated 
users expect to be able to read and write 
large amounts of data rapidly, not just to 
have a good execution speed. These ex- 
pectations can't be met without high-ca- 
pacity and high-bandwidth peripherals. 

The need for enhanced capacity comes 
when drive form factors are shrinking, cre- 
ating a need for vastly increased record- 
ing densities. This trend has led manufac- 
turers of drives to use surface area more 
efficiently with techniques such as con- 
stant density recording (CDR) and em- 
bedding servo information on the disk. 

CDR places more data on the outer 
tracks of a disk than on the inner ones, in- 
creasing the amount of data on a disk (see 
the text box "More Bits per Inch" on page 
200). However, CDR also creates more 


MARCH 1992 -BYTE 195 





Local buffer RAM 

Data 1 | Address j [13 to 20 MBps 

NE — V 


Automated buffer-controller Interface 

host bus 


ECC logic 



Local microcontroller interface 


36 to 40 

Data separator 



Local microcontroller 

Figure 1: The microcontroller is responsible for programming the embedded 
controller, handling exceptions, and, in single-processor designs, positioning the 
read /write heads over the desired track and ensuring that they stay aligned. The disk 
buffer holds data moving between host and disk; it may be DRAM or static RAM. 

work for the drive controller circuitry. Ser- 
vo data keeps read/write heads aligned by 
feeding back alignment information from 
the disk to the head-positioning circuitry. 
These kinds of intelligent embedded con- 
trollers have added substantial value to 
drive control. 

Increasing I/O bandwidth necessitates 
reducing the time required for a drive to lo- 



As disk capacities increase and 
their physical sizes decrease, 
more automation and integra- 
tion of functions in drives be- 
come critical requirements. Em- 
bedded controllers built into 
drives provide the key to con- 
tinuing these trends by inte- 
grating error handling, interface 
automation, buffer manage- 
ment, energy conservation, and 
more into drives. 

cate the first data in the file requested as 
well as increasing the transfer rates be- 
tween peripherals and system CPUs. To 
meet these requirements, you can buffer 
data on the peripheral, increase the me- 
dia-to-buffer and buffer-to-host-CPU data 
transfer rates, reduce the overhead of each 
transfer, and support concurrent media-to- 
buffer and buffer-to-host-CPU transfers. 

Exploring the Architecture 

Hard drives contain platters that hold the 
data, read/write heads and associated ana- 
log circuitry, and digital circuitry. The dig- 
ital circuitry typically contains an embed- 
ded-controller IC that is closely coupled 
to a microcontroller, buffer RAM, and 
host-interface circuitry (see figure 1). 

The host-bus interface is either direct, as 
in the case of IDE drives, or made through 
a host adapter or a SCSI port on the moth- 
erboard, as in the case of SCSI drives. IDE 
drives connect directly to the system bus 
and place the functionality of a traditional 
system drive controller inside the drive. 

SCSI is an interface for intelligent pe- 
ripherals. It defines initiators, which is- 
sue high-level commands, and targets, 
which execute the SCSI I/O commands. 
The SCSI standard also defines the bus 
states through which a bus passes during a 
bus transaction. 

Embedded controllers in drives are typ- 
ically programmable-state machines that 

automate data transfer and interfacing func- 
tions under the direction of a microcon- 
troller. Embedded-controller designs use 
internal registers and interrupts to com- 
municate with the microcontroller. 

Many embedded controllers execute mi- 
crocode instructions that guide the em- 
bedded controller during a disk read or 
write. They contain disk sequencers, com- 
plete with a program counter, a stack, and 
branching logic to enable the use of mi- 
crocode subroutines. These sequencers 
control track reading, writing, and for- 

Microcode implementations typically 
support in-line instruction execution and 
branching to subroutines. The microcode 
program used with each drive contains a 
track format. Microcoded embedded con- 
trollers can typically transfer a full track of 
data without the microcontroller's inter- 

Anatomy of a Disk Track 

Tracks are concentric circular areas of a 
disk that are broken into a series of sec- 
tors, each holding an identical amount of 
information. An index pulse, a special pat- 
tern written on a disk, determines the start- 
ing point of each track. It can also tell you 
when a specific sector on a track is missing 
(i.e., when the index pulse passes under 
the head twice without a match). 

Each sector on a disk contains a series of 
fields (see figure 2). The ID header con- 
tains the variable frequency oscillator 
(VFO), which is used to lock the analog 
circuitry to the read/write frequency; the 
data-sync byte; the servo positioning in- 
formation fields; and the cyclic redundan- 
cy check (CRC) fields. 

The data-field byte sync specif ies the 
starting point of data (as opposed to pad, 
servo, or VFO fields). The CDR field is 
used to embed servo information in a data 
field. The CRC field (shown as 16 bits) is 
for the ID header only. The CRC can de- 
tect errors, but it cannot correct them. 

The data area of a sector also starts with 
a VFO field and a data-sync byte. In figure 
2, servo information splits the data field. 
(Defects in the disk itself can also split a 
data field.) 

The error-correction code bytes are at 
the end of a sector's data field; they are 
for the data area only and can both detect 
errors and correct them. You can also split 
the ECC field or the intersector-gap re- 
gions of a sector or track. 

Handling the Splits 

Embedded controllers use indications on 
the disk surface (e.g., an index pulse or a 
data-sync byte) to tell them to branch with- 
in the microcode program when reading 

196 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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registered trademark and Micrografx Designer is a trai -rafx, Inc. All other products are trademarks^! their respective owners. 

Designer system requirements: 286 (386 recommended) IBM PC or compatible, or PS/2. 1 MB RAM (2 MB RAM recommended). 20 MB (or larger) hard disk, Windows 3.0. DOS 3. 1 (or higher). Mouse- or digitizing p.ul. 

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Circle 80 on Inquiry Card. 



Starting location 
of first split 
in data field 

Starting location 

of second split 

in data field 




















ID header 

byte sync 







byte sync 








First split in data field 




byte sync 






Second split in data field 

Figure 2: The data area of a sector starts with a VFO field and a data-sync byte. The one depicted here is broken by semo infor- 
mation that splits the data field. The ECC bytes are at the end of the last part of a sector s data field (it's also possible to split 
the ECC field or the inter sector gap regions of a sector or track). 

or writing sector data. This process occurs 
after the drive controller aligns the read/ 
write heads over a disk track. 

When servo or defect areas split the data 
area, the microcontroller must suspend 
ECC computation and buffer-data trans- 
fer and restart them with precise timing to 
maintain correct head positioning. Other- 
wise, the disk has to rotate another revo- 
lution to get the head back in position over 
the desired data. Clearly, you don't want to 
add more latency to the data access. 

You can use several methods to signal 
the embedded controller to stop or start 
ECC computation and buffer-data trans- 
fer. These include the header-field, micro- 
controller-load, and freeze-ECC methods. 

The header-field method codes the lo- 
cations at which to suspend ECC compu- 
tation and buffer-data transfer into the 
CDR fields. Each CDR field specifies the 
point at which servo data or defects com- 

Each value is typically loaded into a 
first-in/first-out stack in the embedded con- 

troller when the ID-header area is read. 
This FIFO stack feeds a down counter that 
is internal to the embedded controller and 
reduced by each byte transferred. An in- 
ternal interrupt occurs when the counter 
reaches zero, and a branch to a predeter- 
mined address occurs in the microcode. 

The microcode executed after the branch 
waits for the servo area to pass under the 
read/write head and looks for a VFO field 
and a data-sync field, which follow each 
split. The microcode executes a return, 
and ECC computation and buffer-data 
transfer begin where they left off. Thus, 
you don't need to specify the end point of 
the defect or servo areas. 

The header-field method of implement- 
ing split fields is quite automatic. CDR 
values are loaded from the ID header into 
the FIFO stack. The microcontroller can 
dedicate its bandwidth to other tasks, so 
possibly a lower-performance, lower-cost 
microcontroller could provide the same 
data throughput. Although data splits can 
arbitrarily occur within a sector, the depth 

of the FIFO stack limits the number of 
splits possible. 

Another method of handling split fields, 
microcontroller load, relies on the micro- 
controller to load the embedded con- 
troller's internal FIFO stack at the appro- 
priate times. To ensure valid data, the 
microcontroller must never let the FIFO 
stack become empty during a sector read or 
write. This method is quite flexible. How- 
ever, the microcontroller's bandwidth lim- 
its the number of splits possible, because it 
must also perform other tasks (e.g., read/ 
write head positioning and alignment). 

A third method of automating split-field 
implementations freezes ECC computa- 
tion at a certain point. Splits are placed at 
fixed locations (usually with respect to the 
last data-sync field) within every sector's 
data area. The embedded controller counts 
the transferred bytes and branches to freeze 
ECC computation when the count reaches 

This method assumes that all splits oc- 
cur in the same location in every sector; 

198 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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More Bits per Inch 

The quest for higher-storage ca- 
pacity in smaller form-factor 
drives has led to significant ad- 
vances in magnetic-recording 
technology. Not long ago, most hard 
drives used variable-density recording, 
in which data is written at a constant 
rate and the disk rotates at a constant 
angular velocity (see figure A). With 
this technique, the data on the inner 
tracks is denser than the data on the 
outer tracks. Thus, outer track space is 
used less efficiently. 

An alternative method now gaining 
wide acceptance divides each disk into 
concentric zones. Recording densities in 
each zone are optimized and are nearly 
equal. Because outer zones are larger in 
diameter, they contain more bits. They 
also contain more sectors. Because the 
read/write head traverses more bits in 


Figure A: Typical hard disks have 
used variable-density recording, 
which writes data at a constant rate 
to a disk rotating at a constant angu- 
lar velocity. Variable-density record- 
ing results in a lower density (and 
lower storage efficiency) for record- 
ed data on the outer tracks of a disk. 

the outer zones than in the inner zones 
in the same amount of time (the motor 
speed is constant), the data rate is high- 
er in the outer zones. This method is 
called constant-density recording (see 
figure B). 

Another technique being used to in- 
crease densities is the embedding of 
servo data on a disk. In the past, fine- 
head-positioning information, essen- 
tial to the closed-loop servo systems 
necessary for medium- and high-ca- 
pacity drives, was stored solely on a 

dedicated disk platter. Manufacturers 
are increasingly embedding this servo 
data within data fields in bursts 10 to 25 
bytes in length. 

As shown in figure B, servo bursts 
are commonly located along a radial 
path from the disk center, ensuring that 
head-positioning data occurs at con- 
sistent intervals. These splits must be 
ignored during the data transfer, error- 
detection, and error-correction pro- 
cesses; the embedded controller never 
sees the actual data within them. 




Figure B: CDR is a more efficient storage method that is now gaining accep- 
tance. It breaks each disk platter into concentric zones, each with a recording 
density optimized for it. Because the outer zones are larger in circumference, 
they can contain more bits. More sectors are recorded in the outer zones than in 
the inner zones (each sector contains the same number of data bits). 

200 BYTE • MARCH 1992 







Sector data field 

Sector data field 




v Start of 
correction period 

iof ; 


correction period 

Figure 3: Correctable single-burst errors are typically corrected by the time the disk 
has rotated halfway through the data sector that follows the sector with the error. 

if they don't, the microcontroller must dy- 
namically modify the microcode program, 
using precious bandwidth. One potential 
shortcoming of this method is that the size 
of the counter in the embedded controller 
limits the number of bytes possible be- 
tween servo (or defect) areas. However, 
this is typically not a problem, because the 
counter is at least 1 6 bits long. 

Other methods for locating splits in- 
clude issuing an external interrupt when 
encountering servo data (this requires ad- 
ditional external circuitry) or positioning 
the splits the same distance (in bytes) apart 

so that the down counter always contains 
an identical value. Ideally, this last method 
should use little or no microcontroller 
bandwidth, leaving the microcontroller 
free to concentrate on head positioning. 

Embedded Error Handling 

As track and bit densities increase, the 
probability of errors on disk surfaces also 
rises; in fact, defect densities grow expo- 
nentially with increases in track densities. 
High data transfer rates compound the prob- 
lem, so detection and correction must be 
rapid and accurate. 

The solution is to integrate error-detec- 
tion and error-correction circuitry into an 
embedded controller. This architecture 
would allow error correction without mi- 
crocontroller intervention. 

Error detection and correction are too 
complex to occur at the full-disk data trans- 
fer rate. To automate this process, you 
must separate the detection and correction 
circuitry into two blocks. 

Error-detection circuitry operates on the 
incoming data stream to determine if it 
contains errors. Error-correction circuitry 
operates simultaneously on previously 
transferred data. It typically fixes correct- 
able single-burst errors by the time the 
disk has rotated halfway through the next 
sector (see figure 3). 

The microcontroller can also correct er- 
rors off-line by executing a correction al- 
gorithm. You can correct more and longer 
error bursts this way. You can detect dou- 
ble-burst errors (up to 1 7 bits per burst 
with an 88-bit Reed-Solomon ECC) and 
correct them (up to 1 1 bits per burst) on- 
line. You are able to detect three bursts up 
to 1 1 bits each off-line and correct even 
larger error bursts off-line if you can tol- 
erate a higher probability of misdetection 

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MARCH 1992 -BYTE 201 



As more sophisticated circuitry is built 
into embedded controllers and longer 
ECCs are stored with each sector, larger 
and more frequent errors can be corrected. 
Certain types of disks (e.g., magneto-op- 
tical) require these more sophisticated 
methods of detection and correction. High- 
er error rates and more sophisticated er- 
ror detection and correction also become 
necessary as bit densities increase on hard 

There is a trend toward using error de- 
tection and correction for track-format or 
nondata areas as well. ECCs located at the 
end of sectors typically cover only the data 
area and cannot correct synchronization 

Automating the Host Interface 

Another area of disk control that is seeing 
increasing automation is the host-CPU in- 
terface. AT/IDE and SCSI are widely used - 

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IDE drives connect directly to the AT 
bus. Application programs use BIOS calls 
to access disk data. The BIOS contains the 
code that manages the drive controller in- 
terface. This interface uses a series of com- 
mands (e.g., read, write, and read long) 
and a set of task-file registers. 

Examples of task-file registers are the 
sector-number, cylinder-number, head- 
number, and sector-count registers. Prior to 
IDE standardization, these registers were 
on a drive controller card; now they are 
typically internal to the embedded-con- 
troller IC in the drive. 

Automating task-file-register updates 
during multisector reads or writes is be- 
coming more commonplace in embedded 
controllers. Consider, for example, a mul- 
tisector read of a series of contiguous sec- 
tors. With automatic task-file-register up- 
dates, the read process automatically 
updates the sector-number, head-number, 
and cylinder-number registers. The em- 
bedded controller contains the maximum 
value for each register. As each register 
wraps to 0, it can increment the next most 
significant one (e.g., the sector, head, or 
cylinder) in ascending order of signifi- 

Monitoring hardware signals on the AT 
bus as well as certain handshake bits (e.g., 
BSY or DRQ) used to interface to IDE 
drives is another area that more sophisti- 
cated embedded controllers are automat- 
ing. These devices assert and deassert ap- 
propriate bits during data transfer and 
handshake sequences, speeding up the 
drive controller side of the transaction. 

SCSI Automation 

The SCSI-1 standard, adopted in 1986, de- 
fines the rules for asynchronous and syn- 
chronous data transfers. Both use REQ 
handshake signals (which the target as- 
serts) followed by ACK handshake sig- 
nals (which the initiator asserts) during 
transfers within the data phase. 

Asynchronous transfers don't dictate 
how fast the initiator must assert ACK af- 
ter receiving REQ; transfer rates are in the 
2-MBps range. Synchronous transfers re- 
quire the exchange of messages between 
the target and the initiator (prior to the first 
transfer) to establish the maximum trans- 
fer rate they can support (the highest al- 
lowable rate is 5 MBps). 

The SCSI-2 standard, formalized in 
1990, defines higher-speed synchronous 
transfers. Maximum transfer rates are 1 
MBps ( 1 00-nanosecond cycle time) on a 
single cable and up to 40 MBps on a dou- 
ble cable. Sophisticated embedded con- 
trollers already handle 10-MBps transfers 
without microcontroller intervention. 

The SCSI bus passes through a series 

202 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Circle 16 on Inquiry Card. 


of phases while performing a data transfer. 
It starts with the bus-free phase and pass- 
es through the arbitration-, selection-, com- 
mand-, data-, status-, and message-bus 
phases. Not all phases are required with 
all commands. 

Earlier SCSI embedded controllers han- 
dled one phase at a time, interrupting the 
microcontroller when a bus phase was 
completed. This caused a time delay while 
the microcontroller programmed the em- 
bedded controller to handle the next bus 

Because the phases of a SCSI bus are 
so well defined, it's possible to automate 
control of multiple bus phases. These fea- 
tures are now appearing in embedded con- 
trollers and take the form of automated se- 
quences consisting of multiple SCSI bus 
phases. Microcontroller intervention is still 
required, but not as frequently as with ear- 
lier devices. 

The following are examples of multi- 
phase sequences. One is the selection of 
a target via the selection phase, receipt of 
one or more message bytes, and receipt of 
a multibyte command in the command 
phase. Another is the transfer of data until 
the buffer is full or empty in the data phase 
and the transmission of the "save data point- 
ers" and "disconnect" messages to the host. 
A third is the execution of the status, mes- 
sage, and SCSI-bus-free phases. 

Note that the SCSI bus permits a tar- 
get that needs time to retrieve data to dis- 
connect from the bus, read the data, and 
reconnect to the bus to complete the de- 
sired transfer. Advanced embedded con- 
trollers are also automating the disconnect 
and reconnect operations by providing 
sequences of multiple SCSI bus phases 
that will execute without microcontroller 
intervention. The result is less latency 
between SCSI bus phases. Once again, 
the host adapter may well become the 

Reconnecting the SCSI bus to a target 
that is ready to transfer previously re- 
quested data in a multiple initiator system 
has a unique set of constraints associated 
with it. Consider the case in which target 
receives a command from initiator 1 for 
data that it must retrieve. Target discon- 
nects, retrieves the data, and tries to re- 
connect to initiator 1. 

Prior to reconnection, the microcon- 
troller on target programs the embedded 
controller for reselection by initiator 1 and 
transfer of the requested data. If initiator 2, 
which has a higher priority than initiator 1, 
selects target 1 , the programmed sequence 
on target 1 will not occur. 

The result will be an interrupt from tar- 
get O's embedded controller to the micro- 
controller that is requesting assistance. La- 

tency time occurs while the microcon- 
troller determines the state of the SCSI 
bus. As future generations of embedded 
controllers contain more and more intelli- 
gence, they will be able to handle multi- 
tasking. This will negate the need for a 
multiple-initiator implementation to issue 
a microcontroller interrupt. 

Managing Buffers 

Buffer RAM is typically present in drive 
controller designs. The microcontroller 
uses it for scratchpad memory and off-line 
error correction. It also holds host-to-disk 
and disk-to-host data, as well as data that 
the embedded controller's internal ECC 
circuitry is correcting. If buffer RAM con- 
tains DRAM, refresh accesses also com- 
pete for its bandwidth. 

The embedded controller typically is 
the arbiter for RAM accesses. Thus, it must 
contain a multiport access-control circuit. 
Many of today's embedded controllers do. 

It's important not to lock out any type of 
access. For instance, refresh cycles must al- 
ways be allowed. Host access during a 
disk-to-buffer-RAM transfer should also be 
permitted. Overlapping usage increases 
throughput substantially. One common 
way to prevent lock-out is to support cycle 
stealing (i.e., to allow the host-interface 
circuit to insert access cycles between ad- 
jacent disk-to-buffer-RAM cycles). 

Concurrent access requires sufficient 
bandwidth. For instance, truly simultane- 
ous disk-to-buffer-RAM and buffer-RAM- 
to-host transfers require the RAM-access 
bandwidth to be equal to the sum of the 
host and disk access rates. Embedded con- 
trollers now provide 15-MBps buffer ac- 
cess rates. This compares favorably with 
40-Mbps serial data rates from the disk 
and 10 MBps across the SCSI bus. All 
these values will increase in the future. 

Sufficient bandwidth f or concurrent ac- 
cess is only part of the story. Because the 
host and disk interfaces use different 
clocks, synchronization is a concern. Using 
internal FIFO stacks at both interfaces en- 
sures that embedded controllers won't lim- 
it either interface's performance. 

Automating disk-to-host or host-to-disk 
transfers (i.e., reducing microcontroller 
accesses to RAM and embedded-controller 
registers) also boosts performance. You 
can accomplish this in several ways. One 
way is to incorporate buffer management 
logic in the embedded controller. This log- 
ic may support any of the following: 

• buffer RAM that is segmented into 
buffers ranging from a single kilobyte 
to the maximum buffer size 

• interface-specific counters that track 
the contents of each active buffer 

associated with the interface and that 
support circular buffers 

• logic that suspends the transfer across 
an interface when its buffer becomes 
too empty or too full and that restarts 
the transfer when the buffer reaches a 
threshold level 

• SCSI peripherals that are automatically 
disconnected when a buffer becomes 
too empty or too full and that are 
automatically reconnected when more 
buffer space is available 

Energy Conservation 

Finally, the growing sales of portable and 
notebook computers have increased the 
importance of conserving power and pro- 
longing battery life. Reducing power con- 
sumption means turning off power-hun- 
gry circuitry (e.g., the high-current drivers 
used at bus interfaces) and reducing the 
frequency of clock signals — or just shut- 
ting them off (because CMOS technolo- 
gy is widely used in embedded-controller 
ICs, turning off clocks eliminates the pow- 
er consumption of a particular block of 
logic). The challenge is to provide pow- 
er-down modes while supporting auto- 
matic wake-up with minimal overhead. 

Power-down implementations for drives 
rely on partitioning logic blocks so that 
essential circuitry can be kept in a pow- 
er-on state, and on powering down 
nonessential circuits (e.g., the drive mo- 
tor and read/write circuits) after a prede- 
termined time-out period. For instance, if 
an embedded controller connected to a 
SCSI bus must wake up on selection, the 
associated logic must remain powered up. 

Typical implementations generate an 
interrupt when the SCSI bus is selected, 
so the microcontroller will power up the 
appropriate devices and circuits. An equiv- 
alent AT/IDE implementation would pow- 
er up when it received an AT disk-access 

Microprocessors that incorporate on- 
chip power-down logic are now available 
for laptop and notebook computers. It is 
only a matter of time before the same type 
of capability appears in microcontrollers 
along with the many other functions al- 
ready there. When incorporated into drives, 
especially future generations that include 
the embedded controller and microcon- 
troller in a single device, on-chip power- 
down logic will open the window of per- 
formance even wider. ■ 

Rod Kirk and Tim Christianson are senior 
applications engineers for Adaptec's pe- 
ripheral products operation in Milpitas, 
California. Danial Faiiullabhoy is a prod- 
uct marketing manager for Adaptec. You 
can reach them on BIX do "editors" 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 203 


Acer America Corp. 

Storage fo 

Data General Corp. 

r Network 

Maximum Storage, Inc. 


Parallan Computer, Inc. 

401 Charcot Ave. 

4400 Computer Dr. 

5025 Centennial Blvd. 

201 Ravendale Dr. 

San Jose, CA 951 31 

Westborough, MA 01580 

Colorado Springs, CO 80919 

Mountain View, CA 94043 

(408) 922-0333 








Circle 1 1 74 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 183 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 92 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1201 on Inquiry Card. 

Advanced Digital 

Dell Computer Corp. 

Mega Computer Systems 

Perisol Technology 

Information Corp. 

9505 Arboretum Blvd. 

10840 Thornmint Rd. 

3350 Scott Blvd., 

14737 Northeast 87th St. 

Austin, TX 78759 

San Diego, CA 92127 

Building 1201 

P.O. Box 2996 


(619) 487-8888 

Santa Clara, CA 95054 

Redmond, WA 98073 



(408) 988-2232 


Circle 1 1 84 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 93 on Inquiry Card. 


fax: (206) 881-2296 

Circle 1 202 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 75 on Inquiry Card. 

Digital Equipment Corp. 

MicroNet Technology, Inc. 

146 Main St. 

20 Mason 


Advanced Logic 

Maynard, MA 01754 

Irvine, C A 92718 

International, Inc. 

Research, Inc. 



764 East Timpanogos Pkwy. 

9401 Jeronimo 

fax: (508) 493-8780 


Orem, UT 84057 

Irvine, CA 92718 

Circle 1 1 85 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 94 on Inquiry Card. 



fax: (801)226-0651 

fax: (714) 581-9240 


Micropolis Corp. 

Circle 1 203 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 76 on Inquiry Card. 

2652 McGaw 

21211 Nordhoff St. 

Irvine, CA 92714 


Storage Concepts, Inc. 

Array Technology Corp. 


(818) 709-3300 

1622 Deere Ave. 

4775 Walnut St. 



Irvine, CA 92714 

Boulder, CO 80301 

Circle 1 1 86 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 95 on Inquiry Card. 


(303) 444-9300 


fax: (303) 444-0059 

Fujitsu America, Inc. 

Morton Management, Inc. 

Circle 1204 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 77 on Inquiry Card. 

Computer Products Group 

12079 Tech Rd. 

3055 Orchard Dr. 

Silver Spring, MD 20904 

Storage Dimensions, Inc. 

AST Research, Inc. 

San Jose, CA 95134 


1656 McCarthy Blvd. 

16215 Alton Pkwy. 



Milpitas, CA 95035 

P.O. Box 19658 

fax: (408) 434-0475 

Circle 1 1 96 on Inquiry Card. 


Irvine, CA 9271 3 

Circle 1 1 87 on Inquiry Card. 



NCR Corp. 

Circle 1 205 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (714) 727-9355 

FWB, Inc. 

1700 South Patterson Blvd. 

Circle 1 1 78 on Inquiry Card. 

2040 Polk St., Suite 2 15 

Dayton, OH 45479 

Storage Technology Corp. 

San Francisco, CA 94109 


2270 South 88th St. 

Ciprico, Inc. 

(415) 474-8055 

Circle 1 1 97 on Inquiry Card. 

Louisville, CO 80028 

2955 Xenium Lane 



Plymouth, MN 55441 

Circle 1 1 88 on Inquiry Card. 

NetFrame Systems, Inc. 



1545 Barber Lane 

Circle 1 206 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (612) 559-8799 


Milpitas, CA 95035 

Circle 1 1 79 on Inquiry Card. 

Old Orchard Rd. 

(408) 944-0600 

Tricord Systems, Inc. 

Armonk, NY 10504 


3750 Annapolis Lane 

Compaq Computer Corp. 

(914) 765-1900 

Circle 1 1 98 on Inquiry Card. 

Plymouth, MN 55447 

P.O. Box 692000 

Circle 1 1 89 on Inquiry Card. 

(612) 557-9005 

Houston, TX 77269 

The Network 


(713) 370-0670 

Legacy Storage Systems, Inc. 

Connection, Inc. 

Circle 1 207 on Inquiry Card. 


200 Butterfield Dr., Suite B 

1324 Union Hill Rd. 

Circle 1 1 80 on Inquiry Card. 

Ashland, MA 01721 

Alpharetta, GA 30201 

Zenith Data Systems 

(508) 881-6442 


2 150 East Lake Cook Rd. 

Core International 



Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 

7171 North Federal Hwy. 

Circle 1 1 90 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 1 99 on Inquiry Card. 

(708) 808-5000 

Boca Raton, FL 33487 

Circle 1 208 on Inquiry Card. 

(407) 997-6055 

Loviel Computer Corp. 

Northgate Computer 


250 Park Ave. S 

Systems, Inc. 

Zeos International, Ltd. 

Circle 1181 on Inquiry Card. 

New York, NY 10003 

P.O. Box 59080 

530 Fifth Ave. NW 

(212) 979-8824 

Minneapolis, MN 55459 

St. Paul, MN 55112 

Cubix Corp. 



(612) 633-4591 

2800 Lockheed Way 

Circle 1191 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (612) 943-8336 


Carson City, NV 89706 

Circle 1 200 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 209 on Inquiry Card. 


fax: (702) 882-2407 

Circle 1 182 on Inquiry Card. 

204 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

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_ Dept. B3 




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Circle 1 52 on Inquiry Card. 



/Mobile Windows 



Nine portable computers 
and six portable pointing 
devices that let you 
go mobile with Windows 



indows may make your desktop 
machine easier to work with, 
but it can be rough on a porta- 
ble. Besides all the obvious re- 
quirements for disk space and processing 
power, Windows also demands a bright, 
fast screen and a capable pointing de- 
vice—two things portable computers tra- 
ditionally don't offer. In this review, I've 
gathered nine portables and several porta- 
ble pointing devices dedicated to making 
Windows more mobile. Each machine has a color screen, a built-in pointing de- 
vice, or some other design enhancement for Windows. The entries from Com- 
max, Everex, and Grid have pointing devices built into their keyboards. Aqui- 
line, AT&T, and Texas Instruments offer portable Windows packages. From 
Dolch, NEC; and Toshiba, I've included AC-powered luggables with color dis- 
plays so good you might consider replacing your desktop. For the blow-by-blow 
on each configuration, consult the features table on page 210. 

If you already have a fast notebook computer, you may need only a good porta- 
ble pointing device to become Windows-ready. Appoint, Logitech, Microsoft, 
and MicroSpeed offer several flavors of trackballs for those with limber thumbs. 
Suncom's ICONtroller is a miniature, clip-on joystick. Abacus Software offers 
NoMouse, a software-only mouse-emulation package. Finally, there's a preview 
of a promising new pointing device in the text box "Rather Rock Than Roll?" on 
page 211. [Editor's note: Coverage of pointing devices begins on page 216.] 

What Makes a Portable a Windows Portable? 

Windows portables require all you'd ask of any portable: light weight, long bat- 
tery life, a fast processor, and a comfortable keyboard. Running Windows adds 
the pointer requirement, demands a hard drive, and puts more emphasis on the 
quality of the screen. 

The weight you assign to each of these factors depends on your application. If 
you' re looking for a general-purpose machine for part-time Windows use, almost 
any notebook will suffice. The coming generation of machines based on Intel's 

208 BYTE- MARCH 1992 





These portables are ideal for 
running Windows; each features 
a pointing device and a color 
screen or another Windows 
optimization. Portable pointing 
devices are designed to tag along 
with these systems, giving you 
mouse capability without requiring 
desk space. 


New portable technologies make 
it possible to use Windows while 
traveling. Better screens and 
pointing devices and lighter and 
more capable systems mean that 
you can tote Windows applications 
almost anywhere. 


Many pointing devices are 
difficult to master; some verge 
on the unusable. 


Although the GridCase 1550SX 
is well laid out and has an 
outstanding pointing device, the 
system is just too heavy for real 
traveling. For all-around ease 
of handling and good Windows 
operation, Everex's Tempo Carrier 
is the best choice. 

386SL chip, represented by Zenith's 
Mastersport 386SL (see "Notebook 
Power Management at Its Zenith," De- 
cember 1991 BYTE) and here by Aqui- 
line's Arima SN386SL, will make good 

Full-time Windows en route makes 
small size and long battery life critical. 
It's also convenient to have the pointing 
device built into the keyboard so you 
don't have to wrestle with clamps and 

If you'll use Windows only when you 
arrive at your destination, size isn't so 
important, and you may not need a bat- 
tery at all. Dropping the requirement for 
complete portability can get you a color 
screen or a very fast processor, in a ma- 
chine like NEC's ProSpeed 486SX/C. 

You might also consider an alternative 
to carrying Windows with you: control- 
ling Windows applications remotely by 
modem. A review of some software that 
makes this possible appears in the text 
box "Windows by Phone" on page 214. 

I have evaluated Windows portables 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 209 



These are the portables that run Windows best. The most important features for Windows operation are a good screen 
and a comfortable pointing device, but the usual portable considerations of battery life, size, and weight will color 
your choice of favorite. (% = yes; O = no.) 

Arima C-P.A.C. GridCase ProSpeed Safari Tempo TravelMate 
SN386SL 386SX-20C 1550SX 486SX/C NSX/20 Carrier 3000WinSX 

Price (as tested) 








Processor/speed (MHz) 








Math coprocessor 







Memory as tested (MB) 








Memory (maximum; MB) 








Memory upgrades 










Battery life (manufacturer's 

claim; hours) 

Battery recharge time (hours) 



AC power 




AC power 








System unit 

Dimensions (WxH xL; 


Weight with battery (lb.) 










x 11 


External power supply 

Dimensions (WxHxL; 


Weight (lb.) 













Number of keys 
Key travel (mm) 
External keyboard port? 


















Pointing device 







J Key 



PS/2 mouse port? 









LCD type 
Gray levels/colors 
Screen area (WxH) 
External video port? 

CCFP backlit 


64 gray 



TFT2 color 
256 color 


LCD backlit 


16 gray 



TFT color 
640 x 480 
256 color 


TSP backlit 


32 gray 



LCD backlit 

640 x 480 

32 gray 

5.1 x6.8 


TST sidelit 


32 gray 



Hard drive 

Size (MB) 
Access time (ms) 











Internal floppy drive 


3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 

3 1 /2-inch/ 


Internal modem 
Serial ports 
Parallel ports 

2400 bps 




2400 bps 


2400 bps 


2400 bps 


Expansion options 

Standard slots 

Proprietary slots 


Five 16-bit 








Bundled software 

Setup utilities 



Cursor enhancement 



MS-DOS 4.01 








QA Plus 

MS-DOS 5.0 


MS-DOS 5.0 



Magic Cursor 


MS-DOS 4.01 



AT&T Access 



Prod. Pack 


MS-DOS 4.01 





MS-DOS 5.0 


Change Cursor 



3 months 

1 year 

1 year 

1 year 

1 year 

1 year 

1 year 

1 Cold-cathode fluorescent transistor. 
210 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

2 Thin-film transistor. 

3 Triple supertwist. 


UltraThin Plus 











AC power 





















TFT color 
640 x 480 
256 color 


TST backlit 


32 gray 





3V 2 -inch/ 


2400 bps 


2400 bps 

1 8-bit, 

1 16-bit 





MS-DOS 4.01 




DR DOS 5.0/6.0 



1 year 

1 year 

Rather Rock Than Roll? 

If you'd rath- 
er rock than 
roll, take a 
look at Zir- 
co's PalmPoint, a 
portable pointing 
device with a de- 
sign all its own. 
The PalmPoint 
was nearing pro- 
duction as I as- 
sembled this re- 
view. The design 

is good enough that production versions 
should be warmly received by those un- 
satisfied with current pointing-device 

The PalmPoint is a gadget that you 
control by tilting. You mount the base to 
the side of your keyboard and steer the 
cursor around by tipping the entire unit 
from side to side. TTie unit pivots on a 
ball attached to the stationary base. Ro- 
tating the unit moves the mouse cursor 

around on the 
screen— it feels a 
lot like adjusting a 
car's side mirror. 
I found the 
PalmPoint as easy 
to use as a real 
mouse, and of 
course it requires 
very little table 
space. If I had one 
^^^^^^^^H complaint, 

that the ballistic 
action of the PalmPoint was a little hard 
to get used to; I sometimes ran out of ro- 
tation space on the unit with the cursor 
still stranded in the middle of the 
screen. Still, the PalmPoint is comfort- 
able and natural, and it should give the 
clip-on trackball group of portable 
pointers a real run for the money. For 
more information, contact Zirco, Inc., 
10900 West 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 
CO 80033, (303) 421-2013. 

quantitatively for speed and battery life. 
Notes on the tests appear in the text box 
"Measuring Speed and Endurance" on 
page 218, and the results are graphed in 
figures 1 and 2. However, my primary 
gauge of the quality of each machine is 
simply the experience of using it from 
day to day. I've run Windows on every 
one and used each in and out of the 

Arima SN386SL with Thumbelina 

The $2695 Arima from Aquiline has the 
distinction of being the only 386SL ma- 
chine in this review. The 386SL-based 
machines have an advantage over 386SX 
machines in a Windows environment, 
thanks to the advanced power manage- 
ment capability of the processor. SL 
technology makes it easier for manufac- 
turers to shut down vital parts of the 
computer during idle periods. Only 
386SL designs can sleep even in en- 
hanced-mode Windows without special 
hardware hacks. In BYTE's battery-life 
tests, the Arima was a top performer, 
surviving for 4 hours and 15 minutes. 

The Arima comes with DOS and Win- 
dows installed and includes an Appoint 
Thumbelina (see page 220). Folding ac- 

cess doors cover serial, parallel, and ex- 
pansion ports for other options. Al- 
though the machine performed well, the 
construction showed a lack of attention to 
detail. Also, it's hard to type on the stiff, 
short-travel keyboard. 

C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C 

The C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C portable is 
the cousin of the 33-MHz 486 Dolch sys- 
tem reviewed in "Full Color Comes to 
LCDs" (August 1991 BYTE). Like its 
high-powered kin, the 386SX-20C has 
a 256-color Sharp thin-film-transistor 
(TFT) LCD panel. 

This box gives you a 3 Vi-inch 120-MB 
IDE hard drive, five ISA expansion slots, 
and a full-size keyboard for $ 1 1 ,040. Al- 
though it looks portable, it carries like a 
suitcase— 18 pounds is a lot of computer 
to drag around. However, once you get 
where you're going, it's like having a 
full-featured desktop. 

The color screen is excellent, and the 
keyboard is a joy. Benchmark perfor- 
mance was outstanding even considering 
the C-P.A.C. 's 387SX FPU advantage. 
This system blasted the other 386SX/20s 
even on our CPU benchmarks, where 
floating-point speed does not play a part. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 211 


Word Processing index 


Spreadsheet index 

Database index 

Arima SN386SL 

C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C 

GridCase 1550SX 

ProSpeed 486SX/C 

Safari NSX/20 

Tempo Carrier 386SX-20 

TravelMate 3000 WinSX 


UltraThin Plus 


Word Processing index 


Spreadsheet index 

4 Worse 

Better ► 

Arima SN386SL 

C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C 

GridCase 1550SX 

ProSpeed 486SX/C 

Safari NSX/20 

Tempo Carrier 386SX-20 

TravelMate 3000 WinSX 


UltraThin Plus 

Database index 

< Worse Better ► 



CPU index 


FPU index 

Video index 

< Worse 

Better ► 

< Worse 

Better ► I l M Worse 

Better ► 

Arima SN386SL 

C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C 

GridCase 1550SX 

ProSpeed 486SX/C 

Safari NSX/20 

Tempo Carrier 386SX-20 

TravelMate 3000 WinSX 


UltraThin Plus 


Figure 1 : The high-speed NEC ProSpeed 
486SX/C proved the fastest portable , as 
you 'd expect. However, there were 
unexpected performance variations 
among the 386SX/20 designs, from the 
top- performing Dolch C-P.A.C. 386SX- 
20C (which included a math 
coprocessor) to the surprisingly sluggish 
AT& T Safari NSX/20 portable. 

Figure 2: The dual-battery Safari 
NSX/20 made up for lackluster speed 
with outstanding battery life; it was 
bested only by the Aquiline Arima 
SN386SL notebook. 


Arima SN386SL 

GridCase 1 550SX 

Safari NSX/20 

Tempo Carrier 386SX-20 

TravelMate 3000 WinSX 

UltraThin Plus 

< Worse Better ► 

^i l | i | i ^i 

^\ I I I I I l 

• ' _L 




I ^I 


I I 


3 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4 


212 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


GridCase 1550SX with Isopoint 

The GridCase is one of the few remain- 
ing battery-operated portables that don't 
qualify as notebooks. Yes, it's very big 
and heavy, and compared to a notebook 
machine, it feels like a concrete block. 
However, if you worry about operating a 
typical notebook in a harsh environment, 
Grid Systems' $3905 GridCase will put 
you at ease. 

The GridCase turned in a very re- 
spectable 3.9 hours on the battery-life 
test— in good company behind the Safari 
NSX/20 with its dual batteries and the 
Arima with its 386SL. 

The distinguishing feature of the Grid- 
Case is its built-in Isopoint pointing de- 
vice. It's mounted in front of the space 
bar, right where your thumb goes. To 
move the mouse cursor left and right, you 
slide the Isopoint bar to either side. To 
move up and down, you roll the bar as 
you might roll a pencil on a desk. Press- 
ing the bar with your thumb clicks the 
mouse. The Isopoint emulates a Micro- 
soft bus mouse, and it works wonderful- 
ly well with Windows. 


NEC's brand-new ProSpeed 486SX/C 
portable smashed the competition in our 
performance tests, thanks to its 20-MHz 
486SX processor. Like the Dolch and 
Toshiba portables, the ProSpeed has a 
256-color TFT display. Even with the 
high-powered processor, the $9299 Pro- 
Speed still costs less than the C-P.A.C. 

The ProSpeed 's one EISA and one 
proprietary expansion slot make it less 
versatile than the C-P.A.C, but one 
standard slot will be enough for most 
folks. Windows is refreshingly respon- 
sive with the ProSpeed 's fast processor 
and fast hard drive. If you need a color 
system for high-powered Windows appli- 
cations, give the ProSpeed a long look. 

Safari NSX/20 

I liked the AT&T Safari NSX/20 as a gen- 
eral-purpose 386SX notebook, but it's 
quite expensive at $4199. The machine 
has a high-quality feel, and it runs a long 
time (4. 1 hours) on a single charge of its 
dual batteries. It ships with a nicely 
styled AT&T mouse. 

The Safari NSX/20 disappointed me 
on performance tests. It ranked last in al- 
most all the application tests — a showing 
likely related to its poor score in the low- 
level CPU tests. 

What does the Safari bring to the Win- 
dows party? Besides the mouse and its 
preinstalled Windows, the machine's 
documentation is provided in electronic 

Photo 1 : The Everex Tempo Carrier (right) and the Toshiba T3200SXC are both 
excellent machines for running Windows. The Tempo has a Key Mouse built into its 
keyboard for cursor control and ships with a standard mouse as well. The T3200SXC 
has the best color display of any portable we have seen. 

format as a Toolbook application. If you 
have any questions on machine opera- 
tion, bring up Windows and click on the 
topic you need help with. I found on-line 
documentation a curious idea— if you're 
having trouble getting the machine to 
boot, on-disk documentation won't help. 

Tempo Carrier with KeyMouse 

Weighing in at just 5 1 / 5 pounds, the Ev- 
erex Tempo Carrier (see photo 1) was a 
pleasure to travel with. In this small 
package you get 2 MB of RAM, a hard 
drive, a floppy drive, and a built-in 
pointing device for $3195. 

The Everex KeyMouse piggybacks on 
the 7, F, and D keys of the keyboard. All 
the keyboard keys auto-repeat except the 
J. When you hold down the J key, it turns 
into a mouse controller. Pushing the key 
gently in any direction moves the cursor. 
The F key becomes the primary mouse 

I found KeyMouse extremely handy 
for Windows word processing. With your 
fingers in touch-typing position, you can 
type as usual. If you want to move the 
cursor, you hold your right index finger 
on the keyboard, move the cursor, and 
click with your left index finger. The 
movement takes some practice. Other 
BYTE editors tried it and never quite got 

the hang of it. Everex supplies a regular 
mouse with the Tempo for people who 
can't deal with the KeyMouse or who 
want a mouse when they're not in an air- 
plane seat. 

Battery life was the Tempo's only real 
drawback. My working style doesn't 
often demand that I spend long hours 
running on battery power, so I could 
overlook the short 2.7-hour running 

TravelMate 3000 WinSX 
with TravelPoint 

Texas Instruments' (TI) $3199 Travel- 
Mate 3000 WinSX is a TravelMate with 
modifications for running Windows. 
The power management hardware and 
software have special provisions for han- 
dling background tasks during shutdown 
periods and for keeping the time-of-day 
clock accurate. 

The TravelMate 3000 WinSX also has 
a few touches that make presentations 
easier. If you're running on an external 
display (e.g., an LCD overhead projec- 
tion panel) and you leave the machine 
idle, it shuts down but leaves the video 
output frozen with its last image. You can 
bring the machine alive again by press- 
ing a button on the TravelPoint pointing 
device. Combining these two features 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 213 

Windows by Phone 

If you're committed to Windows and 
you need to compute while travel- 
ing, you'll learn to live with some 
limitations. But while you may be 
able to adjust to a clip-on trackball, your 
applications and data files may prove 
less adaptable. Resource-hungry appli- 
cations and, especially, centralized 
data need to remain in your office while 
you're on the road. How do you keep in 

The four Windows remote-control 
packages presented here offer solutions. 
Each controls a Windows session run- 
ning on a machine to which you're con- 
nected by modem. In effect, they bring 
the Windows environment to you via a 
phone connection. You take over the 
host computer, watching its screen and 
controlling it with your mouse and key- 

Because these products must operate 
over asynchronous lines, they have to 

Steve Apiki 

perform within a very restricted band- 
width. And because there is so much in- 
formation present in the screens of Win- 
dows (or other GUIs) compared to text 
interfaces, Windows remote control 
over phone lines is a difficult problem. 

The New Crew 

These four packages represent the next 
generation in Windows remote control. 
They fall into two categories: the classic 
remote-control design that ships bit 
maps scanned from video memory from 
host to remote unit (Norton-Lambert's 
Close-Up) and those designed to inter- 
cept Windows display calls and redirect 
messages across the wire (Microcom's 
Carbon Copy for Windows, Triton 
Technologies' Co/Session, and Ocean 
Isle's Reachout). Each design is an at- 
tempt to bring reasonable performance 
to Windows run by phone. The pack- 
ages offer the features and utilities out- 

lined in the table. All represent signifi- 
cant improvement over what was avail- 
able only last year. 

Close-Up 4.0 is the only screen- 
memory scanning package represented. 
Central Point Commute also belongs in 
this category, but the timing of this arti- 
cle meant that I could have tested only 
version 1.1, which Central Point plans 
to make obsolete by the time you read 

Close-Up works by transmitting 
screen bit maps from the host to the re- 
mote unit. By heavily compressing the 
data, Close-Up wrings every bit of per- 
formance from the connection. In Win- 
dows, Close-Up fares best when you 
need to transmit bit maps or where the 
number of Windows graphics calls ri- 
vals the amount of data required to send 
bit-map updates (e.g., editing in a 
drawing application). Also, Close-Up's 
direct scan of video memory guarantees 


Remote-control packages vary in their support for DOS and Windows and the 
(• = yes; O = no; N/A = not applicable.) 

sophistication of their utilities. 

Carbon Copy for 
Windows 1.0 





Two-PC package 





Windows support 

Real mode 
Standard mode 
Enhanced mode 
Full-screen DOS session 
Windowed DOS session 
DOS remote to Windows host 
Graphics modes 



Super VGA, VGA, EGA, 
CGA, Hercules 



Super VGA, VGA, 

DOS support 

Memory required (host/remote) 
Remote mouse 
Remote printing 
Graphics modes 


34 KB (host) 1 




262 KB/126.2.KB2 





146.7 KB (host) 1 







Blank host 

Lock host 

Directory access privileges 






File transfer 


Session recording 

Call logging 







DOS only 




Windows or DOS 



1 Remote is not a TSR program. 

2 Additional memory on remote required for Windows, 

214 BYTE* MARCH 1992 


Windows Application index Text File Transfer 

EXE File Transfer 

< Worse 

Better ► I I < Worse 

Carbon Copy for Windows 

Close-Up : 
Native 486/33 

Better ► I \ 4 Worse 

J L 

Better ► 

0.25 0.50 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 2 4 6 8 10 12 

KBps KBps 

Figure A: Carbon Copy for Windows was the fastest at running Windows applications via 9600-bps modem. Close-Up and 
Co/Session proved to be the best at file transfers. (N/A = not applicable.) 

that you'll see the same image on both 
displays even with ill-behaving appli- 

The second class of products takes 
advantage of the structure of Windows 
to skirt some of its limitations. These 
packages intercept application calls to 
the graphics interface and send a copy of 
these messages to the remote system. 
The remote application uses these calls 
to build a duplicate screen. 

Shipping messages consumes consid- 
erably less bandwidth than shipping bit 
maps. However, there is overhead in re- 
directing each graphics call and in de- 
coding and acting on it on the remote 
system. Graphics-call interceptors are 
strongest where few Windows messages 
are required to perform an action on- 
screen (e.g., pulling down a menu). 

There is another, less obvious advan- 
tage to this design. With either ap- 
proach, screen updates are slow enough 
that repaints are obvious (at least at 
9600 bps). But Close-Up updates the 
screen row by row, which is jarring. 
Graphics-call interceptors update ob- 
ject by object, which makes them more 
like running Windows locally. I found 
that the second approach made it easier 
to work with the delay imposed by re- 
mote control. 


I ran a set of benchmarks to measure 
these products' performance, with a 
386SX/16 calling a 486/33 host through 
a 9600-bps phone connection. I ran our 
new Windows application suite for desk- 
tops, which exercises six different Win- 
dows applications. I also timed some 
file transfers, since fetching files from 
the office will probably be a common 

The application benchmarks portray 
a cross section of performance (see fig- 
ure A). The overall winner is Carbon 
Copy for Windows, with Reachout a 
solid second. Close-Up 's and Co/Ses- 
sion's file compression and transfer 
protocols placed them neck-and-neck 
for first on file transfers. 

But are any of these programs fast 
enough to use? As the benchmark fig- 
ures show, the quickest package ran 
about half as fast as a local application. 
While faster modems or V.42bis com- 
pression would provide improvement, 
the response of any of these packages at 
9600 bps is tolerable, and Carbon Copy 
for Windows is even pleasant. If all you 
have is your notebook's built-in 2400- 
bps modem, you'll want an external 
9600-bps unit. 

Oddly, only Carbon Copy for Win- 

dows is an all-Windows application. 
The others rely on a DOS-based remote 
application to control a Windows host. 
These packages let you run the control 
application on a relatively underpow- 
ered PC (e.g., a notebook), controlling 
sophisticated Windows applications in 
enhanced mode. 

However, Carbon Copy for Win- 
dows' all-Windows orientation has its 
advantages. Its chat and file transfer 
utilities run and look like Windows ap- 
plications. Reachout's chat runs under 
Windows, but the other packages re- 
quire that you switch to a text-mode 
DOS application before you can transfer 
files or chat. 

Carbon Copy for Windows is my 
overall favorite. It's fast, has good 
mouse response, and is stable in its sup- 
ported modes. However, Carbon Copy 
for Windows does not support DOS or 
real-mode Windows, which may be a 
significant drawback in some applica- 
tions. If remote control of both DOS and 
Windows were critical, I would choose 

Steve Apiki is a BYTE technical editor 
with a B.S.E.E. from Rensselaer Poly- 
technic Institute. You can contact him on 
BIX as "apiki. " 



Microcom, Inc. 

(Carbon Copy 
for Windows 1 .0) 

Norton-Lambert Corp. 

(Close-Up 4.0) 
P.O. Box 4085 

Ocean Isle Software 

(Reachout 2.0) 

80 Royal Palm Blvd., 

Triton Technologies, Inc. 

(Co/Session 6.0) 
200 Middlesex Tpke. 

500 River Ridge Dr. 
Norwood, MA 02062 
(800) 822-8224 

Santa Barbara, CA 93 140 
(805) 964-6767 
fax: (805) 683-5679 
Circle 1 3 1 8 on Inquiry Card 

Suite 202 

Vero Beach, FL 32960 
(800) 882-8664 
(407) 770-4777 
fax: (407) 770-4779 

Iselin, NJ 08830 

(800) 322-9440 

(908) 855-9440 

fax: (908) 855-9608 

Circle 1 320 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 3 1 7 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 3 1 9 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 215 


lets you use the 3000 WinSX as an effec- 
tive presentation aid with surprisingly 
long battery life. In our tests, we mea- 
sured a battery run of 3.8 hours, almost a 
full hour more than the manufacturer's 

TI worked with Appoint to develop its 
TravelPoint device, which is almost 
identical totheThumbelina. The buttons 
are rearranged to make it more suitable 
for left-handers, but I just never took a 
shine to the little trackball. 


BYTE reviewed the Toshiba T3200SXC 
portable (see photo 1) in August 1991. 
It's a heavy portable with an excellent 
keyboard, two standard expansion slots, 
and quality construction throughout. 
The $8476, AC-powered package has a 
20-MHz 386SX and 5 MB of RAM. 

What makes this machine ideal for 
Windows is its display. The Toshiba 256- 
color TFT panel is nothing less than gor- 
geous. Black areas had a slight tendency 

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to show streaks, but, overall, the display 
looked more like a CRT than an LCD. 

UltraThin Plus with TouchPad 

The $3995 Commax UltraThin Plus 
weighs just 4.5 pounds with battery and 
built-in pointing device. There's no flop- 
py drive in the UltraThin; it comes with 
DR DOS in ROM and an external floppy 
drive. Having no removable storage for 
backup and emergencies made me a little 
nervous. Fortunately, the external flop- 
py drive fits easily in the UltraThin car- 
rying case. 

While the UltraThin is a satisfactory 
machine vis-a-vis weight and size, its 
pointing technology leaves something to 
be desired. The upper left corner of the 
keyboard is a small removable module 
that you can replace with one of several 
options. By default, this unit contains 
just the external VGA and PS/2 mouse 
ports. My test unit came with a Touch- 
Pad cursor-control module (which also 
supports VGA and PS/2 ports). When 
you place your finger or a stylus on the 
pad, the cursor tracks in the direction 
you move. Four buttons next to the pad 
provide emulation of three mouse buttons 
and a "lock" button for click and drag. 
Using the TouchPad takes lots of prac- 
tice, and I found it hard to control. 

Merrily We Roll Along 

Using a mouse requires more than your 
eyes for feedback. When you're heading 
the cursor toward a menu you've used a 
hundred times, your hand "knows" just 
how far to roll. The physical memory 
that you develop with a mouse is some- 
thing you may not get from a more sta- 
tionary device; as motions get smaller, 
movement becomes less automatic. 

Physical memory is an important part 
of running Windows (or typing, for that 
matter). Mouse alternatives tend to re- 
quire less motion than mice, so they are 
harder to control. For a pointing device 
to be as comfortable as a mouse, the con- 
trols should be large and require a good 
amount of movement. For the best con- 
trol, large cursor movements should re- 
quire more controller motion. 

I checked out six portable pointing de- 
vices and how they run under Windows 
(see photo 2). Because personal taste is 
probably the most important criterion in 
choosing a pointing device, I also solicit- 
ed opinions from other BYTE editors to 
keep the evaluation even. 

BallPoint Mouse and 
TrackMan Portable 

Microsoft's $175 BallPoint Mouse is a 
palm-size trackball with a nice-size ball 

216 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Circle 145 on Inquiry Card. 


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Measuring Speed and Endurance 

The latest round of processor and 
power-conservation design im- 
provements has prompted en- 
hancements in the way the BYTE 
Lab measures system performance. 
This review marks the introduction of a 
new notebook applications benchmark 
suite, version 3.0, and a significant up- 
grade to our portable-battery-life tests. 
Results are shown in figures 1 and 2 on 
page 212. 

While our low-level DOS and Unix 
benchmarks have remained accurate 
measures of system speed, our version 
2. 1 applications suite has begun to show 
its age. The unprecedented popularity 
of Windows and applications that take 
advantage of DOS 5.0' s improved mem- 
ory-handling capability are areas that 
previous versions of our test suite did 
not address. 

We have made three major changes. 
First, we've broken out applications into 
two major categories, DOS and Win- 

dows. Second, we have updated the ap- 
plications we use to reflect recent up- 
grades. Third, and most noticeable, we 
have chosen a new baseline system; we 
retired our IBM AT standard and re- 
placed it with a notebook baseline: the 
Toshiba T2200SX. 

We continue to report the results of 
these tests as indexes based on the per- 
formance of the baseline. Therefore, 
our change in baseline means that you 
cannot compare the indexed perfor- 
mance results from these systems with 
the results of machines we've tested pre- 
viously. However, you will be able to 
compare these results with those of por- 
tables that we'll test farther down the 

BYTE's battery-life test relies on our 
laptop battery test rig (introduced in 
"Notebook Power Management at Its 
Zenith," December 1991). We place a 
fully charged machine in the tester and 
run it until it drops. Our test scenario 

simulates a word processing session, 
where text is saved several times in an 
hour and typing time alternates with 
idle periods. The systems are allowed to 
shut down hard drives and backlighting 
and can even put the GPU to sleep dur- 
ing idle segments. Machines with clever 
power-conservation techniques or SL 
designs will fare better than machines 
without. Our tests run at approximately 
55 percent duty cycle; the machine is 
running 55 percent of the time and al- 
lowed to shut down for the other 45 per- 
cent. Naturally, battery life will vary, 
depending on the way you use the ma- 

Since we introduced the new test, we 
have added an optical sensor to monitor 
the display and a third actuator to han- 
dle machines with shifted-power stand- 
by switches. The host software now 
allows us to realistically test battery life 
on any machine with a serial port re- 
gardless of its operating environment. 




Photo 2: A litter of 
mice and mouse- 
alikes: the Abacus 
Windows (screen); 
clockwise from 
right: the Logitech 
Portable, Appoint 
Portable, Suncom 
and Microsoft 
BallPoint Mouse. 

that you manipulate with your thumb. 
Four buttons sit around the trackball's 
edge so that two of them naturally fall 
where your index and middle fingers are, 
right or left handed. Before you use the 
BallPoint, you run a configuration pro- 
gram that tells the drivers which ball di- 
rection is up and which two buttons you 
plan to use. 

Logitech's $169 TrackMan Portable is 
also a Microsoft-compatible trackball 
that clamps to the side of your com- 
puter's keyboard. You drive the ball with 
your thumb and click on the mouse but- 
tons with your index and middle fingers. 
The placement of the buttons makes this 
primarily a right-handed device, al- 
though I've spoken to some who use it 

In both look and feel the TrackMan 
Portable is quite similar to Microsoft's 
BallPoint. The TrackMan's keyboard 
clamp is simpler to use than the Ball- 
Point's, but I found that the BallPoint felt 
better to use. 

NoMouse for Windows 

Abacus's NoMouse for Windows is a 
$49.95 piece of software that takes over 
the cursor keys on your keyboard and 

218 BYTE- MARCH 1992 




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something while your 
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Yesterday, Micronics 
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Our reputation for high 
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Along with being EISA/ISA 
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Micronics' leadership in 
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Circle 81 on Inquiry Card. 


maps them to mouse movements. Mov- 
ing the cursor with keys is like steering 
an Etch-A-Sketch— it's hard to make 
curves. Still, if you tweak the settings 
just right, it's possible to do some word 
processing or spreadsheet work without a 

NoMouse will also work hand-in-hand 
with any other pointing device. The de- 
vice is very handy for making fine ad- 
justments in desktop publishing applica- 
tions and for retouching pixels in Paint- 

Thumbelina Portable 

Appoint' s Thumbelina Portable is a tiny 
trackball mounted in a small plastic 
block that you hold in your hand. It sells 
for $99 in a package that includes a 
mounting bracket. You control the cursor 
with your thumb. To click, you move 
your thumb to one of two mouse buttons. 
A "lock" button provides for click and 
drag operations. 

While the device certainly is portable, 
most of the editors never felt at home 
with the Thumbelina. 


MicroSpeed's $89.95 MicroTrac is a 
small trackball mounted in a flat base. 
You can hold the unit in your hand and 
roll the ball around with your thumb a la 
Thumbelina, or you can put the thing on 
your desk and use your fingertips. Tiny 
buttons on the top and sides provide left, 
right, and locking mouse buttons. 

Unfortunately, like the Thumbelina, 
the MicroTrac proved a little too tiny to 


The $99 ICONtroller from Suncom is the 
most innovative of the add-on pointing 
devices. It's a tiny digital joystick that at- 
taches to the side of your keyboard with 
Velcro tape and emulates a Microsoft 

Three buttons provide your mouse but- 
tons, and a smaller button on the tip of 
the joystick emulates one of the three. 
You control the cursor speed by picking 
one of four accelerations with a speed 
button and the force you use to move the 

Highlighted Selections 

Innovative pointing devices are the fea- 
tures that most distinguish these systems. 
My favorite overall was the GridCase 
1550SX and its Isopoint, and the com- 
posite BYTE editor opinion was that the 
Microsoft BallPoint Mouse is still the 
best of the stand-alone pointing devices. 

However, the GridCase is a little too 
hefty to carry around on a regular basis. 
TI's TravelMate 3000 WinSX might have 
been my favorite if it had had a better 
pointing device. I found the best combi- 
nation of weight, screen, and pointing 
device in the Everex Tempo Carrier. The 
Tempo's Key Mouse is ideal for word 
processing in Windows, probably the ap- 
plication that you'll use most on the road. 

If you must have color and battery 
power is not a requirement, the Toshiba 
T3200SXC is your best bet. It has the 
best TFT display, and it costs consider- 
ably less than its color competition. ■ 

Howard Eglow stein is a BYTE Lab test- 
ing editor who holds an S.B. from MIT. 
Contact him on BIX as "he glow stein. " 


Abacus Software 

Commax Technologies, Inc. 

Isopoint Technologies 

NEC Technologies, Inc. 

(NoMouse for Windows) 

(UltraThin Plus) 


(ProSpeed 486SX/C) 

5370 52nd St. SE 

2031 Concourse Dr. 

2391 American Ave. 

1414 Massachusetts Ave. 

Grand Rapids, MI 49512 

San Jose, CA 95 131 

Hay ward, CA 94545 

Boxborough, MA 01719 


(800) 526-6629 

(800) 683-6066 

(800) 632-4636 





Circle 1321 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 325 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 329 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 333 on Inquiry Card. 

Appoint, Inc. 

Dolch Computer Systems 

Logitech, Inc. 

Suncom Technologies 

(Thumbelina Portable) 

(C-P.A.C. 386SX-20C) 

(TrackMan Portable) 


1332 Vendels Cir. 

372 Turquoise St. 

6505 Kaiser Dr. 

6400 West Gross Point Rd. 

Paso Robles, CA 93446 

Milpitas, CA 95035 

Fremont, CA 94555 

Niles,IL 60648 


(800) 538-7506 


(708) 647-4040 

(805) 239-8976 

(408) 957-6575 

Circle 1330 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1334 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 322 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 326 on Inquiry Card. 

Microsoft Corp. 

Texas Instruments 

Aquiline, Inc. 

Everex Systems, Inc. 

(BallPoint Mouse) 

(TravelMate 3000 WinSX) 

(Arima SN386SL) 

(Tempo Carrier) 

1 Microsoft Way 

P.O. Box 202230 

449 Main St. 

48431 Milmont Dr. 

Redmond, WA 98052 

Austin, TX 78720 

Bennington, VT 05201 

Fremont, CA 94538 

(800) 426-9400 

(800) 527-3500 



(206) 882-8080 





Circle 1 335 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (802) 442-8661 

Circle 1 327 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1331 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 323 on Inquiry Card. 

Toshiba America 

Grid Systems Corp. 

MicroSpeed, Inc. 

Information Systems, Inc. 

AT&T Safari Systems 

(GridCase 1550SX) 



(Safari NSX/20) 

472 ULakeview Blvd. 

44000 Old Warm Springs Blvd. 

9740 Irvine Blvd. 

14K Worlds Fair Dr. 

Fremont, CA 94537 

Fremont, CA 94538 

Irvine, CA 927 18 

Somerset, N J 08873 

(800) 222-4743 

(800) 232-7888 

(800) 334-3445 




(714) 583-3000 




Circle 1 336 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1324 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 328 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1332 on Inquiry Card. 

220 BYTE- MARCH 1992 




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The BYTE Lab looks 
at the top spreadsheet 
programs for DOS, 
Windows, and the Mac 





nee dominated by 
imighty Lotus 1-2-3, 
' the spreadsheet playing 
field is intensely com- 
petitive these days. Spreadsheets 
come in so many variations and 
are designed for so many plat- 
forms in the personal computer 
environment that making an 
informed buying decision truly 
presents a challenge. Selecting 
the right program demands iden- 
tifying key features; understand- 
ing how well the implementation 
of particular features meshes with your work style, financial require- 
ments, and analytical needs; and deciding what sorts of special tools will 
make it easier for you to present information clearly. 

Those of us who cut our teeth on Hollerith cards remember how diffi- 
cult it was to turn final output into something resembling what we saw 
on-screen. Fortunately, things change. Just as word processors have 
evolved into highly visual programs, so, too, have spreadsheets. 

For this BYTE Lab Product Report, we selected programs that run 
under DOS or Windows 3.0, or on the Macintosh; most have WYSI- 
WYG capabilities. The list includes CA-SuperCalc 5.1, Excel 3.0, Lotus 
1-2-3, Lucid 3-D 2.5, Quattro Pro 3.0, Resolve 1.0v2, and Wingz 1.1a. 
All are packed with features for handling numbers, but some offer su- 
perior graphics tools and presentation capabilities, as well. Certainly an 
essential requirement for any spreadsheet is the ability to generate graphs 
from the data your worksheets contain. The applications examined here 
do quite well at converting data to charts, but they differ in the extent to 
which they let you manipulate graphs and charts. 

222 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

In evaluating each program, we 
paid careful attention to its user 
interface and ease of use. Options 
usually taken for granted — automat- 
ed program installation, smooth nav- 
igation within a worksheet, and the 
ability to quickly generate charts and 
view data in different formats — were 
high on our list of desirable features. 
But we also looked at how easy the 
programs' other major features were 
to learn and use. After all, an awe- 
some calculation function is nearly 
useless if you can't figure out how to 
make it work. 

LOTUS 1-2-3 


Sales figures indicate that Lotus 1-2-3 
still is the king of DOS spreadsheets. 
The latest DOS package, release 2.3, is 
a low-end marvel that's powerful 
enough to ensure loyalty to the crown 
among the masses. Release 3.1, slower 
and heavier on high-end features than 
release 2.3, is a top seller among corpo- 
rate number crunchers. But in the realm 
of Windows and the Mac, Lotus 1-2-3 is 
an upstart challenger that must prove 
itself against established packages such 
as Excel and Wingz. 

With millions of die-hard DOS users 
worldwide faithfully awaiting the next 
upgrade from Lotus, you'll be in good 
company if one of the three versions of 
1-2-3 for DOS is your final choice. 
Which of the trio is right for you 
depends on how much processing power 
your system has and whether you prefer 
the more intuitive, polished graphical 
user interface of the Windows version. 
The newest 1-2-3 release extends the 
long arm of Lotus to include Macintosh 
users. Cross-platform mobility and ease 
of use are two of the new arrival's 
biggest selling points. 

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.3 

The latest DOS version of Lotus 1-2-3, 
release 2.3, is a big wonder in a small 
package. Lotus has managed to cram 
myriad graphics tools into a program that 
will run on low-end systems without sac- 
rificing speed. The program will run on 
older 8088-based PCs and touts an inter- 
active WYSIWYG display and presenta- 
tion-quality output with page preview 
capability. It shares many of the same 
basic features found in 1-2-3 release 3.1 
but lacks Solver and Backsolver, Data- 
Lens technology for accessing external 
data sources, Smartlcons, and a three- 
dimensional worksheet display. 

Release 2.3 does, however, include pro- 
visions for using more than 100 scalable 
fonts in a single worksheet, a built-in 
word processor, a palette of 224 colors 

and fill patterns for enhancing graphs, 
and the ability to automatically wrap text 
around graphs. Release 2.3 also provides 
an on-line tutorial, context-sensitive 
help, and what Lotus calls enhanced 
expanded memory, a memory manage- 
ment system that can accommodate 
spreadsheets as large as 12 MB. 

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3.1 

The GUI for Lotus 1-2-3 release 3.1 for 
DOS is similar to that for release 2.3: the 
classic menu on the top line with pull- 
down choices from each command. And, 
again like release 2.3, it lacks the scroll 
bars, radio buttons, and sculpted window 
frames found in 1 -2-3 for Windows. 

An add-in program for 3.1 lets you cus- 
tomize screen colors and worksheet 
fonts, as well as do fancy formatting of 
data. As a result, 1-2-3 3.1 can print pro- 
fessional looking reports. The latest 
update, 3.1+, incorporates the spiffy 
graphical features of 1-2-3 2.3. 

Release 3.1 goes beyond 2.3 in many 
other areas, offering advanced macro 
commands, a worksheet and cell indica- 
tor, calculation indicator, new graphing 
options, advanced printing functions, and 
the ability to search and replace informa- 
tion in a range of cells. A 286 micropro- 
cessor is the minimum required to run 
this version. In our tests of floating-point 
and integer calculations, the calculation 
engine for Lotus 3.1 proved slower than 
that of the speedy release 2.3. 




These packages provide you 
with tools for analyzing and 
calculating complex sets of 
numerical data. To varying 
degrees they incorporate 
functions that let you turn this 
data into visually meaningful 


Spreadsheets not only analyze 
numbers; the more sophisticated 
programs now on the market 
offer slick powerful presentation 
tools. Those products equipped 
with graphical interfaces further 
simplify analytical procedures. 


With the increase in calculation 
and presentation power comes 
a steep learning curve. Some 
spreadsheet packages are just 
plain hard to learn. 


For older machines with 512 
KB of memory, nothing beats 
Quattro Pro. Lotus 1-2-3 release 
2.3, likewise, offers speed and 
basic graphics functions to low- 
end DOS users. For sheer 
calculation speed, however, 
consider the very graphical 
Wingz . Under Windows and 
on the Mac, Excel offers 
elegance and ease of use; 
Lotus, 1-2-3 compatibility; and 
Wingz, throughput. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 223 


if5f^liig}^i^ i ^a^4 HffuEg jog «xi^i,ij|jffiy? 

Hie Edit WocUhctt Range Graph Dan Style Tpjlt Window I kip 

LOTUS 1-2-3 1.0A 


What stands out most visually in Lotus 
1-2-3 for Windows are its new Smart- 
Icons: a suite of over 70 worksheet and 
graphing buttons that you can customize 
to automate basic spreadsheet functions. 
You can, for example, assign a macro or 
a frequently used operation to a button; if 
you want help figuring out what a button 
does, you can simply point to it and click 
the right mouse button. 

Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows is essentially 
a graphical version of high-end release 
3.1 and, like release 3.1, bears some 
resemblance to older 1 -2-3 versions. The 
old guard who prefer the traditional way 
of doing things will appreciate that the 
program includes a provision for access- 
ing the classic 1-2-3 menus with the 
slash key (/). The command keystrokes 
remain the same, and old worksheet files 
are completely compatible with the new 
1 -2-3 for Windows. 

The package's graphing techniques 
include the ability to insert and display an 
unlimited number of 1-2-3 graphs any- 
where in the spreadsheet; the graphs are 
updated automatically as worksheet data 
changes. You can place PIC and CGM 
graphics files and freehand drawings in a 
worksheet and annotate graphs with text 
and simple geometric shapes, as well as 
paste in graphics from the clipboard. 

Creating graphs is easy. You simply 
select a valid range of data from your 
worksheet, pick the Graph and New 
options, type a name for your graph, and 
press Enter. The chart first generates a 
line graph; you then have the option of 
selecting one of more than 200 combina- 
tions of styles — among them 22 3-D 
graph formats. To view the graph sepa- 
rately at a later time, you have to select it 
from the active list of graph names under 
Graph View. 

To change the elements in a graph, the 
named graph window must be active. 
Pressing Control-F6 toggles the active 
window, alternately showing the graph 

and the worksheet; clicking on the graph 
twice also toggles the active window. If 
the axis text labels in your spreadsheet 
are long, they will be staggered on two 
levels so they are legible (see the screen 
to the left) — a feature that isn't available 
in all spreadsheets. If the original data 
range contains blank cells, the graph will 
chart them as data ranges with a value of 
zero. As a result, you might have to 
define a legend separately for the data 
range if the row or column that has axis 
labels contains a blank cell. When work- 
ing in the Chart Legend dialog box, you 
can enter the legends by cell address, by 
text name, or by specifying the range that 
contains the legend labels. 

Manipulating graph files and spread- 
sheet files may be tricky and somewhat 
baffling to the first-time user. After cre- 
ating a graph, you can save it as a sepa- 
rate file but you have to name it first. A 
graph can also be saved automatically 
with the spreadsheet as an embedded 
graph or can be added later. You can 
control the location and the size of the 
graph, but once it is embedded you can't 
annotate it, nor can you change its 
appearance except by altering the spread- 
sheet data or naming the graph and open- 
ing it as the active window. Once an 
embedded graph and spreadsheet are 
saved together, they are forever married. 
If you close the file and then reload it, 
you'll find the ever-faithful embedded 
graph, obscuring the data that lies 
beneath it (if you happened to place it on 
top of a portion of your spreadsheet). 

The procedure for opening a file isn't as 
easy as it could be. If you type the directo- 
ry, filename, or file extension incorrectly, 
the program's File/Open window displays 
an error message saying the file doesn't 
exist. At that point, the only available 
options are Help or OK, but neither 
allows a second try. You must go back to 
the File menu and re-enter the directory or 
filename (the default Lotus 1-2-3 directo- 
ry always takes precedence) — an annoy- 
ing quirk to say the least. 

If you are working with an imported 
file with a WK1 extension (the 1-2-3 
release 2.3 file format) and create a 
graph you want to save, you will likely 
get an error message saying, "Incompati- 
ble worksheet information lost during 
saving." Don't panic. No data has been 
lost; the message is merely a warning, 
though it may not appear that way. You 
receive a second chance to save the 
worksheet under a different file exten- 
sion or in the native file format for the 
Windows version of 1-2-3, WK3. 

One of the program's most convenient 
features is the automatic fit-to-page 

option. Often when you work with 
spreadsheets, page breaks are unavoidably 
inserted in your spreadsheet. They can be 
a nuisance when you want to print what 
you see on-screen. File Preview comes to 
the rescue, letting you see the Page Setup 
parameters and, if necessary, compress 
both text and graphics to fit on one page. 

Lotus 1 -2-3 for Windows also has an 
Adobe Type Manager add-in program 
that includes 13 scalable PostScript type- 
faces and font libraries; 3-D worksheet 
capabilities for handling large models; 
Solver and Backsolver goal-seeking 
tools; access through DataLens to exter- 
nal data sources such as SQL Server, 
dBase III and IV, and Paradox; and 
Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), which 
provides live links to other Windows 
applications. In addition, 1 -2-3 for Win- 
dows now reads Excel 3.0 files, but, 
unlike Excel, it does not yet take advan- 
tage of Object Linking and Embedding 
(OLE), a protocol that lets you place 
spreadsheet data (a graph or worksheet, 
for example) in another application and 
then launch the source program (in this 
case Excel) from within that application. 
Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows will give you 
everything you need to produce a win- 
ning presentation or report. Even most 
"classic" users will like it. 

. fill- Edit Li»uik*]iri 

tumyv ftwli B<U Ugla lual> tliaikm 


LOTUS 1-2-3 


Lotus delivered version 1.0 of 1-2-3 for 
the Macintosh just as we finished this 
product roundup, so we couldn't give it 
as long a look as we would have liked. 
Next to "1-2-3 compatibility," the phrase 
that best describes this newest Lotus 
product is "user configurable." If you see 
something you don't like on the screen, 
you probably can change it. 

With Lotus 1-2-3 for Macintosh, Lotus 
has fallen in love with command and sta- 
tus boxes and tear-off menu palettes. The 
latter are used extensively to control such 
functions as graphing, drawing, and 

224 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Mathematica 2.0: 
the standard for 
technical computing 

"The importance of the program cannot be overlooked ... it so 
fundamentally alters the mechanics of mathematics/' 

New York Times 

"Mathematics has the potential to change the world of science at 
least as much as word processing has changed the world of writing/ 


"Mathematics is a startlingly good tool.' 


Macworld 1991 World Class Software Award Survey 

I Mathematica 

I Theorist 
All others 

Available across PC, Macintosh, Unix, and VMS 
platforms, Mathematica includes a full range of 
interactive numerical, graphical, and symbolic 
computation capabilities, all linked to the power- 
ful built-in Mathematica language. Mathematica 
2.0 adds still more features to the proven leader 
in technical computing software, including 
sound generation and flexible external program 

Mathematica has rapidly become the standard 
for technical computing, with more than a dozen 
textbooks, a quarterly journal, and several newslet- 
ters devoted to the system. Mathematica is in use at 
all of the 50 largest U.S. universities, all of the 
technical Fortune 50 companies, and most of the 
world's larger engineering firms. In fact, more than 
100,000 technical professionals and students 
around the world are working with Mathematica 
every day. 

To find out what Mathematica can do for you, call 
Wolfram Research at 1-800 -441-MATH. 

Mathematica has also received best software/new product 
awards from: 

Macworld, 1990-91 
Discover, 1990 
BYTE, 1989 

Macilser, 1989 
Business Week, 1988 
InfoWorld, 1988 


A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer 

For Macintosh information circle 1 35, 

For IBM/Compatible information circle 1 36, 

For UNIX information circle 1 37 on Inquiry Card. 

Mathematica is currently available for: 

MS-DOS 386, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, CONVEX, 
0G AViiON, DEC VAX (ULTR1X and VMS), DEC RISC, HP 9000, 
Apollo, IBM RISC System/6000, MIPS, NeXT, Silicon Graphics, 
Sony, Sun-3, and SPARC. 

Prices in U.S. and Canada start at $595. Educational discounts and student versions are available. 

Wolfram Research, Inc., 100 Trade Center Drive, Champaign, IL 61820-7237, USA 
217-398-0700; fax: 217-398-0747; email: 

Wolfram Research (UK) Ltd., P.O. Box 114, Abingdon, Oxon 0X13 6TG, United Kingdom 
+44 (235) 550 440; fax: +44 (235) 550 445; email: 

© 1991 Wolfram Research, Inc. Mathematica isa registered trademark of Wolfram Research. Inc. 
Mathematical notassoeiaied with Mathematica Inc., Mathematica Policy Research. Inc . or MatliTccli, Inc. 
Allcther product namesmentioned aretiadematlcscf their producers. Pticto:GecrgcRehrey 


Only one math coprocej 

with the 

Intd387 n\ 
Malh CnPmccssor 

tiLiltml im rlt ™:ii » : U u '■••■ 

power «/yrfA<ji>f«i- , 

When you enhance your Intel CPU 
with an Intel Math Coprocessor, 
you're destined for good karma. 
It's simple. They were both 
invented by Intel, the micropro- 
cessor leader. And they were specifically designed to 
work together, ensuring 100% compatibility. 

©1992 Intel Corporation. i386 and i387 are trademarks of Intel Corporation. 

No wonder Intel's been the de facto standard 
in math coprocessors for the last ten years. 

Intel Math Coprocessors are also compatible 
with more than 2,100 applications. They come 
with a lifetime warranty. And they now account 
for nine out of ten math coprocessors currently in 
use. All of which should effectively put your mind 


sor has achieved oneness 
Intel CPU. 

at peace when you buy one. 

It's all part of Intel's commitment to providing 
powerful solutions today, with industry-leading 
microprocessors, plus the enhancements for even 
greater performance. Today and down the road. 

To receive a detailed information packet about 
the full line of Intel Math Coprocessors, call 

(800) 538-3373. It has everything you need to find 
complete enlightenment. 


The Computer Inside: 1 

Circle 67 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 68) 


Spreadsheet Features 

The plethora of spreadsheet programs on the market makes it difficult to make an informed buying decision. 
Comparing products feature for feature can help. • = yes; O = no; N/A = not applicable. 



Output options 

Slide maker 


Film recorder 


Maximum sheet size 
(rows x columns) 

999 X 255 









9999 X 254 






Lotus 1-2-3 

Lotus 1-2-3 

Lucid 3-D 

Quartro Pro 

Excel for Windows 



Computer Assoc. 


Lotus Development 


Lolus Development 


Lucid Corp. 


Borland International 


Microsoft Corp. 








Upgrade Price 







Minimum System 










384 KB 





Disk space 

2.2 MB 

5 MB 

6 MB 

330 KB 

5 MB 


Operating system version 

DOS 3.0 


DOS 3.0 

DOS 3.1 

DOS 3.3 

Windows 3.0 

Recommended System 




- 286 





640 KB 


1.5 MB 

640 KB 

640 KB 


Disk space 

2.2 MB 

6.4 MB 


500 KB 

5 MB 

6 MB 

Operating system version 

DOS 3.3 

DOS 5.0 

DOS 5.0 


DOS 3.3 

Windows 3.0 


Network capability 







Data-import formats 

dBase, DIF, 
text, WKl, XDIF 

dBase, DIF, WKl, 
WKS, SYLK, text 

dBase, DIF, WKl, 
WKS, SYLK, text 

DacEasy, dBase, 
text, WKl 

WKl, WKS, dBase, 
Paradox, Reflex 

Clipboard, dBase, 

DIF, SYLK, text, 

Graphics-import formats 







Data-export formats 

dBase, DIF, text, 

dBase, DIF, WKl, 
WKS, SYLK, text 

dBase, DIF, WKl, 
WKS, SYLK, text 

DacEasy, dBase, 
text, WKl 

WKl, WKS, dBase, 
Paradox, Reflex 

Clipboard, dBase, 

DIF, SYLK, text, 


Graphics-export formats 

PICT, PostScript, 
Ventura Publisher 






Automatic graph updating 







Embedded graphs 







Print preview 








228 BYTE • MARCH 1992 



Lotus 1-2-3 

Wingz for Windows 

Excel for 

Lotus 1-2-3 


Wingz for Macintosh 

for Windows 

the Macintosh 

for Macintosh 







Lotus Development 

Informix Software 

Microsoft Corp. 

Lotus Development Corp. 

Claris Corp. 

Informix Software 






















1 MB 

2 MB; 3 MB under System 7.0 

1 MB 

1 MB 

5.5 MB 


3 MB 

3.9 MB 



Windows 3.0 

Windows 3.0 

System 6.0.3 or Finder 6.0.1 

System 6.0.3 or 7.0 

System 6.0.5 or AUX 2.0 









3 MB 


2 MB; 3 MB under System 7.0 

2.5 MB 


5.5 MB 


3 MB 

6.5 MB 

3.2 MB 

5 MB 

Windows 3.0 

Windows 3.0 

System 7.0 

System 6.0.3 or 7.0 

System 7.0 or AUX 2.0 








dBase, DIF, 


Clipboard, dBase, 


DIF, SYLK, text, 


SYLK, text, 


DIF, SYLK, text, 


Wingz, WK1,WK3 




Excel, dBase, text 




Clipboard, Publish 





and Subscribe 


dBase, DIF, 


Clipboard, dBase, 


DIF, Excel, SYLK, 

DIF, SYLK, text, 

SYLK, text, 

SYLK, text, 

DIF, SYLK, text, 

Excel 2.2, 

text, Wingz, 





dBase, text 




















































32,768 X 32,768 



>1 billion cells 

32,768 X 32,768 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 229 


setting styles. If you aren't careful, your 
screen may quickly end up showing 
more palettes and menu options than 
spreadsheet information. 

The program's default settings produce 
wonderful graphics. The colors, shading, 
and placement of items is excellent. All 
graph items — titles, legends, axis nota- 
tions, and so on — are treated as objects. 
To move an item, you simply drag it to 
where you want it. To change it, you 
double-click on it to bring up an editing 
dialog box. You don't like the color 
combinations? You can change them one 
at a time. Even though the default graphs 
are excellent, you can make them look 
better by adding new fonts from the copy 
of Adobe Type Manager 2.0.3 included 
with each package. 

Context-sensitive help is linked to all the 
program's dialog boxes. To access the on- 
line help pertinent to your current situa- 
tion, you simply click on the question 
mark in the upper-right portion of the box. 
This is a very convenient and nonintrusive 
addition to the Mac's standard interface. 

Lotus 1-2-3 for Macintosh has all the 
features we've come to expect in a high- 
end graphical spreadsheet: the ability to 
annotate a spreadsheet by adding graph- 
ics — an arrow that points out a certain 
cell, for example — buttons and text fields 
with which you can associate macro 
commands, support for true 3-D spread- 
sheets, a well-rounded macro language, 
and an iterative solver. 

The program's performance on the 
BYTE Lab benchmarks indicate that 
Lotus 1-2-3 for Macintosh isn't a top per- 
former when it comes to throughput. 
What you get instead is the ability to con- 
tinue working on a spreadsheet while a 
recalculation goes on in the background. 
But although not having to wait for recal- 
culation seems like an attractive idea, in 
practice we found ourselves waiting any- 
way because we needed to see the result 
of a computation before making further 
changes to our spreadsheet. How helpful 
this feature will prove depends largely on 
how you work. For us, the ability to abort 
a recalculation and quickly turn manual 
recalculation on and off from the key- 
board seems much more useful. 

The principal beneficiaries of this Lotus 
1-2-3 version will be business users 
already running 1-2-3 on PCs. Now they 
can share files and macros with their 
coworkers who use Macs. The procedure 
involves shuttling files across a network 
or relying on Macs with floppy drives 
that can read PC disks, but taking 1-2-3 
worksheets from PCs to Macs is about as 
easy as cross-platform exchanges get. 

1 -2-3 for Macintosh also is one of the 

230 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

first packages to really tap the capabili- 
ties of System 7.0, most notably its Pub- 
lish and Subscribe options. With this fea- 
ture, you can "publish" data — perhaps a 
worksheet or graph — that other applica- 
tions can "subscribe" to. Someone else — 
maybe the person who prepares reports 
for the CEO — can then subscribe to that 
material and place it in a document. If 
you make a change to the published 
information, the subscriber's copy 
changes, too. This is just one practical 
example of advantages offered by 
putting System 7.0 to good use. 

Despite sluggish performance, Lotus 
1-2-3 for Macintosh feels right because 
so many of its operations are intuitive. 
Let's hope that the next release pays 
close attention to maximizing the 
throughput of the computing engine. 
Because, after all, spreadsheets are 
meant to boost productivity. 

TZam r - ~ StolnHIBHElBlBKlEBlntfSi 

' Die Bjjj gtltay 

« i| PR 






EXCEL 3.0 


Microsoft's Excel is one of the graphi- 
cally oriented, feature-rich competitors 
that has Lotus Development looking over 
its shoulder. The price of this program's 
visual sophistication, though, appears to 
be speed. On the Macintosh, Excel was a 
poor performer in both file loading and 
computational speed. Under Windows, 
file loading speed also was poor, but 
computational speed was average. 

Microsoft has done a good job porting 
Excel to the Windows 3.0 environment. 
Most everything we say about Excel for 
the Macintosh applies to the Windows 
version, with the notable exceptions of 
performance, database links, and DDE. 

Like the Macintosh version, Excel for 
Windows gives you access to external 
databases; however, it relies on a sepa- 
rate program called Q+E to provide the 
link. You get interactive dialog boxes to 
assist you in naming the fields to extract, 
the ability to attach search criteria to 
every field, and macros. But you access a 
database by creating DDE links between 
your spreadsheet and Q+E. Although 
Excel provides a special Q+E macro 
library to simplify the interface, it would 
be much nicer if the database were inte- 
grated into Windows — the way it is for 
the Macintosh version. 

While other Windows spreadsheets' 
dynamic linking capability starts and ends 
with DDE, Excel lets you take advantage 
of OLE by placing a worksheet or graphic 
in a document created with another OLE- 
compliant application, such as a word pro- 
cessor. If, while working in the word pro- 
cessor, you need to change the worksheet, 
you just double-click on it and Excel fires 
up; when you're done making changes, 
you can click out of Excel and be back in 
your word processor. 

All in all, Excel 3.0 for Windows pro- 
vides a good mix of analysis and presenta- 
tion tools. It may not be the fastest spread- 
sheet when it comes to some operations, 
but it's easy to use once you learn its few 
idiosyncrasies. The program's Toolbar, 
which lets you access functions by click- 
ing on an icon, is a great time-saver. 

Navigating an Excel worksheet 
on either the Macintosh or Windows 
is quick and smooth. For procedures such 
as recalculation and chart updates, the pro- 
gram displays a percent-completed mes- 
sage in a status box. Excel lets you create a 
separate window for charts or embed them 
in a worksheet by simply making a palette 
selection. Creating a chart in a separate 
window is similar but requires selecting 
the New option from the File menu and 
then specifying the chait type; some users 
have found this to be one of the most non- 
intuitive processes in Excel. Charts created 
as separate windows are not saved with the 
spreadsheet, but rather in a file internally 
linked to the spreadsheet. Changes made 
to the spreadsheet appear in the chart the 
next time you open it. Before changing 
any features of an embedded chart, you 
must first expand it into a separate win- 
dow. After making the changes, you must 
close the window to display the updated 
embedded chart. 


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You can easily annotate charts with text 
and graphics once you've created them. 
Excel provides the standard line, circle, 
and box drawing tools along with tools 
for improving the appearance of your 
type. We managed to change the colors 
of the bars in our sample chart, some- 
thing few of the other spreadsheets 
reviewed allowed us to do. 

Another innovation is Excel's Toolbar. 
Like Lotus's Smartlcons, this graphical 
bar lets you access certain commands or 
procedures with a single click of the 
mouse. To specify type styles, make 
other formatting choices, or access Auto- 
sum, for instance, you just click on the 
appropriate Toolbar icon. 

In addition, Excel has the unique abili- 
ty to change the value of a spreadsheet 
cell when you alter its value while cre- 
ating a chart. Pressing the Control key 
(the program's command key) and 
' clicking on a bar or data point, brings 
up a handle that you can grab and move. 
As you work, the updated value is dis- 
played in the upper-left corner of the 
spreadsheet. This technique has limita- 
tions, however. First, not all charts may 
be manipulated. In particular, we 
couldn't directly manipulate 3-D charts. 
Second, if a chart element is linked to a 
cell containing a formula, you must be 
ready to tell Excel which cell in the for- 
mula to change to get the new value. 
Excel then uses its built-in Solver to 
compute a new result. 

What Excel lacks in speed it makes up 
for in features. The program provides 
access to external databases through 
Apple's Data Access Language for the 
Macintosh. This arrangement gives you 
access to Sybase, Ingres, Rdb, Informix, 
Oracle, and dBase data, and you don't 
need to learn a complex data query lan- 
guage to use DAL. Excel provides inter- 
active dialog boxes in which you can 
specify which fields to extract and then 
attach simple search criteria to each field. 
Advanced users may perform sophisti- 
cated database searches using SQL, and 
all DAL functions are available through 
macro commands. 

Another of the program's advanced 
functions is Solver. This feature, which 
is similar to Lotus 1-2-3's Solver, lets 
you specify the result you want and 
then solve for the input to generate 
that result. You provide Solver with 
a target result, several starting inputs, 
and a number of constraints — cells 
that must remain within a particular 
range, for instance. When you start 
Solver, it repetitively recalculates the 
spreadsheet until all your specified con- 
ditions are met. 

232 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

Working with large spreadsheets? Have 
too much information to fit on the screen? 
Try using Excel's outlining function. Out- 
lining lets you define up to seven levels of 
indenting on your spreadsheet. You can 
collapse and expand outlined rows and 
columns to hide and display information. 
This simplifies your spreadsheet organiza- 
tion and allows you to quickly move 
around in large amounts of information. 

For working within large networked 
groups, Excel provides integrated 
Microsoft Mail support, which lets you 
send and receive spreadsheets and charts. 
You also can take advantage of a cus- 
tomized installation pro-gram that allows 
you to select which additional features of 
Excel to install: tutorial, help, equation 
solver, database access, and macro 
library. The full installation requires 
roughly 3 MB of disk space. 

The sheer number of features available 
in Excel for the Macintosh might have 
made it intimidating, but Microsoft has 
managed to fashion a program that's 
easy to use. If you're familiar with the 
basic operation of a spreadsheet, you'll 
have no problem learning this complex 
package. It doesn't have all the graphical 
whizbang of Wingz, but its learning 
curve is a gentle knoll compared to 
Wingz' precipitous climb. 

TUo Un v t \.~ \ rf¥ }. -rriai kitsfe-Mtp .>UpiM 'Ibjcu 


*.r--jiw. C!3 ua R ,i.. |) |j 



Borland International's outstanding entry 
in the spreadsheet domain offers bells 
and whistles at hurricane force. With 
Quattro Pro 3.0, the company apparently 
was determined to offer more functions, 
performance, and presentation effects 
than most other spreadsheets around. 
This is a product that delivers. If you 
need powerful visuals to get your finan- 
cial message across, you'd be wise to 
take a close look at Quattro Pro. 

Despite advanced linking and consolida- 
tion features, the ability to annotate any 
portion of a graph, 24 slide-show transi- 

tion effects, built-in sound effects, banner 
printing across continuous paper — not to 
mention many more features that make 
data manipulation and windowing easier 
to use and documents and presentation 
materials easier to prepare — Quattro Pro 
is economical on memory. Borland's dis- 
tributed memory allocation system called 
VROOMM (Virtual Runtime Object-Ori- 
ented Memory Manager) makes it possi- 
ble to take advantage of all these features 
on an 8088-based system with 512 KB of 
memory. And the program is Windows 

It's a joy to work within the Quattro Pro 
environment, with its slick Windows-like 
buttons and 3-D graphical interface. Or, if 
you prefer, you can work with classic 1- 
2-3-like pull-down menus. Either way, 
Quattro Pro provides a fully integrated 
WYSIWYG display and screen preview 
that shows on-screen exactly what you'll 
get in print — in portrait or landscape 
mode. Quattro Pro even has a Zoom fea- 
ture that lets you increase the amount of 
information displayed by up to 200 per- 
cent or decrease it to 25 percent. What is 
more, you can toggle between a chart and 
a spreadsheet with a single keystroke. 

Creating graphs is extremely fast. But it 
can seem complex because Quattro Pro 
offers so many options you might think 
you are working in a drawing package 
that just happens to have spreadsheet 
capability. Using the program's Annota- 
tor to change the appearance or color of 
graphs is interactive and Windows-like. 
With a 16-color palette and 12 tools from 
which to choose, Quattro Pro packs near- 
ly all the power of a graphics package. 

When it comes to graphics versatility, 
drawing features, and graph type, Quat- 
tro Pro outperforms all the other DOS 
programs we looked at. You get 10 types 
of two-dimensional graphs and five 
kinds of 3-D graphs, but unlike Wingz, 
the program cannot do polar and contour 

You can link graphs to more than one 
spreadsheet or insert them directly into 
your worksheet. Although the initial 
graph is displayed in black and white, 
you can drop in color or fill patterns by 
making selections within the Graph 
Overall menu. The options you select do 
not remain checked when you return to 
the menu. 

If you are looking for the most versa- 
tile, integrated spreadsheet and graphics 
package available today for DOS 
machines — and you want powerful link- 
ing capability, analytical tools, and data 
consolidation as well as plenty of pre- 
sentation and publishing punch — Quattro 
Pro should be near the top of your list. 


Borland ranked best 
Quattro Pro beats Lotus 1-2-3 

Two recent industry studies objectively confirm the facts: Customers 
rank Borland best among software companies, and Quattro® Pro out- 
performs all Lotus® spreadsheets. 

Borland: The technology leader. 

Buying software shouldn't be an act of blind faith. Before purchasing 
your next spreadsheet, take a hard look at the company behind it 
Bigger is not better! 

Because Borland is smaller than our competitor, we work smarter, 
we try harder, and it's paying off: Borland was just ranked "Best 
Application Software in Customer Satisfaction, in Small and Medium 
Sized Businesses," in the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates survey. 

Who would you rather buy your next spreadsheet from? 









June 6, 1991 


Quattro Pro: The standard of excellence. 

InfoWorld reviews confirm what more than one million PC users 
already know: Quattro Pro is the best DOS spreadsheet that money 
can buy. Better than any Lotus spreadsheet including their recently 
released version 2.3. 




Just check out the InfoWorld 
review results below. Quattro Pro 
wins in comparison to Lotus 1-2-3® 
hands down in InfoWorld and 
with more than 1,000,000 
enthusiastic users. 

Number of... 

Quattro Pro 

Lotus 12-3 


v. 2.3 2 

v.3.1 3 





"Very Good" 













1 I 





i Source: InfoWorld, April 29, 1991. 2 Souire: InfoWorld, June 10, 1 
5 Source: InfoWorid, jimmy 28, 1991 

5£^Bum INFO j 


Quattro Pro 

VERSION 3.0 : 

Technicalsupport ..(25) 

WT £xcefert~ 

^fe don't blame Lotus for trying 

to underplay ratings such as these, 

but clearly Quattro Pro is more powerful. It has better graphics, 

better capacity, better macros, better consolidation and linking, 

and much more! 

Borland and Quattro Pro: The obvious choice. 

Company for company, product for product, the choice is clear. 
Join more than a million users and upgrade to Borland's Quattro Pro 
today! If you own any version of Lotus 1-2-3, for only $129 95 we'll 
rush you your own copy of the best spreadsheet from the best 

See your dealer or call 1-800-331-0877 now! 




4 OF THE % 

/% loan 

CODE: ^64 


Software Craftsmanship 

1991 J.D. Power and Associates Computer End User Satisfaction Study: Phase I. Office Based Small to Medium Sized Businesses?" Response from Business End Users at 1 ,784 business sites. Small to medium sized 
I businesses were based on office sites with between 1 and 499 employees. J.D. Power and Associates is a service mark of J.D. Power and Associates. Borland is a registered trademark of Borland International, Inc. 
Copyright « 1991 Borland International, Inc. All rights reserved. Quattro is a registered trademark of Borland International, Inc. Pricing is in U.S. dollars. Offer good in U.S. and Canada only. Dealer prices may vary. Bl 1429A 

Circle 26 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 27). 

The package has achieved a level of per- 
formance that few spreadsheet applica- 
tions can aspire to. Too bad Borland 
hasn't released a Macintosh version. 

Just as we were wrapping up this BYTE 
Lab Product Report, Borland sent us a 
"pre-beta" version of its anticipated 
Quattro Pro for Windows. Since it's not 
yet a shipping program, we won't dis- 
cuss its benchmark performance, but we 
can talk briefly about its salient features. 

Quattro Pro for Windows has a very 
intuitive user interface that makes it easy 
to control spreadsheet functions. Context- 
sensitive Menus-On-Demand give you 
menu selections for any object on-screen 
(e.g., a title, page tab, cell, or graph) sim- 
ply with the click of the right mouse but- 
ton. The Speedbar provides customizable 
icons, context-sensitive buttons that auto- 
matically change with the function cur- 
rently being executed; for example, the 

Graph Speedbar pops up when you are 
working with graphics. PowerButtons, 
which you click on to run macros, can be 
placed anywhere on the screen. 

Multiple spreadsheets can be linked 
into "notebooks." A notebook file can 
hold up to 256 pages, each of which can 
be named. Notebook windows can be 
tiled, stacked, or overlapped, with each 
page accessible by merely clicking on 
the notebook tabs. 

Borland has maintained the stunning pre- 
sentation graphics capability that is the 
trademark of Quattro Pro 3.0 with slide- 
show functions (including a light table for 
sorting slides), special effects (e.g., gradi- 
ent washes and bit-mapped images), and 
drawing tools. Quattro Pro for Windows 
can import an incredible eight different 
graphics file formats, including TIF. 

Borland's competitors have their eyes 
looking out for this project. They should. 

The Benchmarks 

Whether or not your primary 
concern is high-quality graph- 
ics, spreadsheet performance 
always is an issue. With that 
in mind, we put each of the packages 
reviewed here through a rigorous 
series of tests. (See the graphs for 
results). We benchmarked the DOS 
and Windows packages on a Compaq 
386/20 with 6 MB of memory, a 387 
math coprocessor, and an ATI Graph- 
ics Accelerator VGA driver (1024 by 
768). We ran the DOS programs under 
DOS 5.0 and the Windows packages 
in Windows 3.0's Standard mode. 

The Macintosh packages were given 
a workout on an 8 MB Macintosh Ilfx 
running System 7.0. We loaded a 16 
KB disk cache and initially turned off 
virtual memory and 32-bit addressing 
features. After completing the Macin- 
tosh benchmarks, we enabled Virtual 
Mode and 32-bit addressing. All three 
Mac programs were run simultane- 
ously with Microsoft Word 4.0. We 
switched among all the programs ran- 
domly and noted when programs 
were being reloaded from disk. We 
found no problems with any of the 
programs running in this mode. 

The benchmarks involve slightly 
modified versions of spreadsheets 

used in previous BYTE Lab analyses. 
The Mathmix test recalculates a work- 
sheet of 400 rows by 127 columns. 
Each cell is the result of a basic math 
operation (addition, subtraction, multi- 
plication, or division) applied to the 
first two cells in its column. The result 
measure a package's speed at per- 
forming basic operations. Two tests 
based on the familiar Savage formula 
measure performance with floating- 
point operations and deeply nested 
formulas. The first, Load Savage, 
times the loading of a 320-row by 
100-column spreadsheet from disk. 
Recalc Savage measures the time to 
recalculate that same worksheet 

A test to determine whether a 
spreadsheet program recalculates all 
the cells in the worksheet when a 
change is made, or only the cells 
affected by the change, rounds out 
our suite. This test worksheet is a 
320-row by 1 00-column block of sim- 
ple formulas. All the cells in the 
worksheet have calculations based on 
a single key. A second key is linked 
to only 800 of the cells. If the spread- 
sheet program performs minimal 
recalculation, the time differences 
between changing the two keys is 



CA-SuperCalc is an example of a per- 
fectly competent spreadsheet program 
that has fallen by the wayside because it 
hasn't kept up with its competitors in the 
race to incoiporate presentation features. 
Still, at $149, SuperCalc delivers sub- 
stantial spreadsheet power. You can load 
up to 255 worksheets at one time — pro- 
vided you have sufficient memory — and 
perform block calculations across work- 
sheets in true 3-D style. The package 
also boasts strong statistical features, a 
minimal recalc option, and an adequate 
macro language. Despite its strengths, 
SuperCalc lacks the pizzazz of today's 
slick WYSIWYG spreadsheets. 

The package uses the familiar Lotus 
1-2-3 menu structure, but the interface can 
get confusing at times. The command line 
builds a command sequence as you make 
menu choices; for instance, the 
sequence/ /Global , Graphics , Devic 
e shows up on the command line as you 
select menu options to install a plotter. The 
command sequence serves no useful pur- 
pose and ends up getting in your way. And 
if you're accustomed to navigating spread- 
sheets using a mouse, you may be put off 
by SuperCalc' s lack of mouse support. 

SuperCalc does, however, let you load 
multiple spreadsheets into memory and 
then link them, or you can set up a single 
spreadsheet file with multiple pages. With 
a multipage spreadsheet, you can reference 
cells on a different page by prefacing the 
cell address (referred to as the named 
range) with the proper page number. You 
also can do operations such as sums or 
averages across pages. These are Super- 
Calc' s strongest features. Ample data anal- 
ysis functions including matrix operations, 
frequency distribution, and multiple 
regression analysis strengthen the package. 

When it comes to output capability, 
SuperCalc has the high-end features you 
expect, but it simply can't match the 

234 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


Load Savage 

Recalc Savage 


Minimum ReCalc (800 and 32,000 cells) 

< Better Worsen II ^ Better Worse ► || ^ Better Worse ► 91 ^ Better 


Worse ► 

I I 


60 80 10 20 30 40 50 "135 10 20 30 40 50 60 


< Better Worse ► 1 1 4 Better Worse ► || < Better Worse ► || 4 Better 

I ! 


80 10 20 30 40 50 135 10 20 30 40 50 60 


< Better Worse ► || < Better Worse ► || < Better Worse ► II ^ Better 

< Better Worse ► 








Worse ► 







20 40 60 

10 20 30 40 50 135 

10 20 30 40 50 60 


I 800 cells 

15 20 25 


I I 32,000 cells 

For sheer loading speed, Lucid 3-D (DOS), Wingz (Windows), and Resolve (Macintosh) all take top honors. The Savage 
Recalc test shows the maximum floating point recalculation speeds are exhibited by 1-2-3 v 2.3 (DOS), Wingz (Windows), 
and a tie between Resolve and Wingz (Macintosh). The MathMix integer math recalculation test highlights Lucid 3-D 
(DOS), Excel (Windows), and a three-way tie among Excel, Resolve, and Wingz on the Macintosh. 

All the spreadsheets, with the exception of Wingz and Resolve, demonstrate their ability to perform minimal 

aesthetics or flexibility of the graphical 
spreadsheets such as Wingz and Excel. 
You can't edit graphics on screen nor 
place them in your spreadsheet. The pro- 
gram also lacks special annotation fea- 
tures. For the most part, you must build 
graphs manually, by cycling through var- 
ious options and filling in the informa- 
tion required. After selecting a graph 
type, you invoke the Chart Data menu 
and fill in the ranges for each set of data 
in your chart. You can do this by simply 
typing in a range, such as B2:B6, or by 
pressing a function key and specifying a 
range using the cursor keys. Another 
menu option lets you select titles, axis 
labels, and legends. Formatting control 
includes color, fonts, point sizes, justifi- 
cation, and more. However, since you 
have to retreat to the View menu option 
to look at your results, it can get tedious 
if, after a few tries, the chart still doesn't 
look the way you think it should. 

Control over publishing features is like- 
wise hampered by the lack of a WYSI- 
WYG inteiface. Report building follows 
the same process as graphing. You start 

by selecting a destination for your report. 
Then, you define the range from the 
/Output,Printer,Range menu option, and 
select output options from the 
/Output,Printer,Options menu. You have 
complete control over margins, orienta- 
tion, spacing, borders, as well as headers 
and footers. A preview option lets you 
check the output before you print it. 

SuperCalc still is a contender, especial- 
ly given its low price. However, it seems 
antiquated when compared against 
spreadsheets with desktop publishing 
capability. And its performance does not 
make up for this shortcoming. It finished 
dead last on the Mathmix benchmark, a 
test of basic mathematical calculations. 

If you're looking for that special edge 
when producing reports from a spread- 
sheet, you won't get it from SuperCalc. At 
least not right now. Computer Associates 
International has a Windows version in 
the works, however. That edition should 
be more visual and intuitive than the DOS 
version, and if it's priced as low as Super- 
Calc, it will find a following as budget- 
conscious PC users migrate to Windows. 

LUCID 3-D 2.5 


Lucid 3-D 2.5 is unique among this crop 
of spreadsheet programs in that you can 
use it as a standard DOS program or as 
a TSR utility. The software comes in 
three segments: Lucid itself, a file-con- 
version utility, and a graphing utility. 
Once you load the graphing and file- 
conversion utilities into memory, you 

MARCH 1992 • BYTE 235 




Borland International 

Computer Associates 

Informix Software, Inc. 

Lucid Corp. 

1800 Green Hills Rd. 

International, Inc. 


101 West Renner Rd. 

Scotts Valley, CA 95066 

7 1 1 Stewart Ave. 

Menlo Park, CA 94025 

Dallas, TX 75082-2017 

(408) 438-8400 

Garden City, NY 1 1530 


(800) 967-5550 

fax: (408) 439-8050 

(800) 645-3003 

fax: (415) 926-6593 


Circle 1 42 1 on Inquiry Card. 


Circle 1424 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1426 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 423 on Inquiry Card. 

Claris Corp. 

Lotus Development Corp. 

Microsoft Corp. 

5201 Patrick Henry Dr. 

55 Cambridge Pkwy. 

1 Microsoft Way 

Santa Clara, CA 95052 

Cambridge, MA 02142 

Redmond, WA 98052 

(408) 727-8227 

(800) 343-5414 

(206) 882-8080 

Circle 1422 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1425 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (206) 936-7329 

Circle 1427 on Inquiry Card. 

can access them directly from the Lucid 
3-D menu. Loading all three compo- 
nents of the package into memory con- 
sumes quite a bit of RAM, though. In 
one sample installation, we saw the 
number of bytes free plummet from 
541,104 after DOS 5.0 was booted to 
227,184 after all three program modules 
were loaded. (The order in which the 
programs are loaded is not important.) 
Lucid 3-D also provides the ability to 
unload the utilities, so you can free up 
memory when you are not using the 
product's advanced functions. 

Creating our sample graph was simple: 
We just selected a range and then select- 
ed the Graph menu option. Lucid cannot 
create embedded graphs; it can only 
show a separate full-screen chart. It 
does, however, provide support for all 
common chart types: bar, line, 3-D, pie, 
area, scatter, and so on. Although Lucid 
3-D provides support for scaling and 
fonts, it lacks color control. Nor does it 
let you annotate a spreadsheet with text 
or graphics. 

Lucid 3-D had difficulties converting 
our example and benchmark worksheets 
from Lotus 1-2-3 WK1 format. 
Although all the numbers were convert- 
ed, simple formulas and absolute cell 
references were not. We had to enter 
each of these in our worksheets manual- 
ly. Lucid was the only spreadsheet we 
tested that had this difficulty. The single 
user's manual that comes with the pack- 
age provided no clue to why we 
couldn't satisfactorily load and convert 
ourWKl worksheets. 

Besides being a TSR, Lucid can lay 
claim to being one of the earliest spread- 
sheets to support 3-D linking. Although 
we are not focusing on this capability in 
here, it is an unusual feature to find in 
such an inexpensive program. 

If you are looking for a presentation- 

quality spreadsheet, Lucid 3-D is not a 
strong choice. However, if you typically 
work with small- to medium-size 
spreadsheets and need 3-D linking, then 
it is hard to beat Lucid 3-D for cost and 

q FilM E Jil Gu funnel llm.l Dieph itiipl UJiinJum 



Informix's Wingz presents a uniform 
user interface across several platforms: 
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OS/2 
Presentation Manager, and OSF/Motif 
and Open Look under Unix. It also offers 
a uniform scripting language that you 
can link to user-defined buttons and text 
fields. There is another interesting wrin- 

kle, as well: Informix has licensed its 
basic Wingz product for the Macintosh 
to Claris Corp., which has incorporated it 
into a spreadsheet called Resolve. 
Because Resolve, Wingz for the Macin- 
tosh, and Wingz for Windows are essen- 
tially the same product, it is difficult to 
review them separately. 

On any platform, Wingz is a consum- 
mate performer: Both the Macintosh and 
Windows versions were significantly 
faster than the competition for most 
operations. Unfortunately, however, 
Wingz does not perform minimal recal- 
culation; it always recalculates the entire 
spreadsheet. Consequently, the other 
packages did better when only portions 
of spreadsheets required recalculation. 

Although Wingz presents a uniform 
interface on all platforms, the Macintosh 
and Windows versions provide sufficient 
subtle changes to make each conform to 
the conventions of its environment. The 
one area for which this is not true is 
interactive help. Wingz provides a pro- 
prietary help system, and although this 
system is easy to use, it doesn't work as 
you'd initially expect a Macintosh or 
Windows help system to work. Of 
course, the up side to this is that folks 
who use Wingz on both platforms will 
have the pleasure of working with a con- 
sistent help system. 

Wingz is a tried-and-true performer on 
the Macintosh. Although Informix hasn't 
updated the program since 1989, our 
experience indicates that this isn't a 
shortcoming: Nothing needs fixing. The 
package contains two spreadsheet ver- 
sions: The first is a general 68000-based 
version; the other is optimized for the 
68020. The 68020-specific version of 
Wingz ran flawlessly under System 7.0, 
even with full 32-bit addressing and vir- 
tual memory active. That qualifies it as 
System 7.0-compatible, but, as an older 

236 BYTE • MARCH 1992 


program, it is not 7.0-aware. If you like 
Wingz but require System 7.0 features 
such as Publish and Subscribe, you 
should probably look at Resolve — 
Wingz' computational engine hooked to 
an updated interface — or Excel or the 
new Lotus 1-2-3 for Macintosh. 

System 7.0-aware Resolve provides 
support for such advanced features as 
Publish and Subscribe and Bubble Help. 
Our benchmarks show that Resolve's 
throughput is comparable to Wingz', 
although Wingz always manages to win 
by a hair. Our decision to evaluate the 
68020-specific version of Wingz may 
account for the slight speed difference. 

One unique feature the three packages 
share is a pop-up window that appears 
when you move the scroll bars to navi- 
gate the spreadsheet. This window dis- 
plays your position in the spreadsheet as 
you move the thumb of the scroll bar. If 
you frequently work with large spread- 
sheets, this feature alone makes any of 
the three programs worth the investment. 

Generating the sample 3-D chart was 
slightly more intuitive in Resolve than in 
Wingz. That's because Claris has 
reduced the amount of information on 

the screen by eliminating some icons 
from the icon palette and replacing them 
with menu commands. Differences also 
exist in regard to charting procedures, 
though these are largely superficial. 
Resolve displays the chart as soon as you 
select the Make Chart menu item. 
Wingz, on the other hand, requires you 
to select a location and size before you 
can display a chart. All three packages 
let you move and resize charts, however. 
Initial chart generation takes seconds, but 
you probably will spend 10 or 20 min- 
utes fine-tuning the location of headings, 
labels, and ancillary text. 

Drawing and labeling tools are avail- 
able for annotating a chart with text, cir- 
cles, boxes, lines, and arcs. However, 
you must use the Group option to associ- 
ate the annotations with the chart. Other- 
wise, the added text and graphics will 
stay behind when you move the chart. 

The three products support approxi- 
mately two dozen chart styles, ranging 
from simple bar charts to sophisticated 
contour and polar graphs. Limited color 
support is provided; you can change the 
grid and base colors but do not have any 
control over the color of individual bars. 

In addition to simple graphics and text 
annotation, Resolve and Wingz offer the 
ability to embed familiar control objects 
such as buttons, boxes containing text, 
and dialog boxes in a worksheet. But- 
tons allow you to construct an interac- 
tive interface to your spreadsheet. You 
may draw buttons anywhere on the 
spreadsheet and attach them to scripts. 
Dialog boxes may be used to retrieve 
information, which you then can incor- 
porate into the spreadsheet. You may 
designate text boxes as locked or permit 
editing of the text, and you can do 
search and replace, check spelling, or 
add a scroll bar so that you can move 
around a text box more quickly. All 
these features taken together mean that 
you can create an interactive interface 
through which the user enters data and 
receives results, while the spreadsheet 
doing the calculations remains hidden 
from view. 

The programs' HyperCard-style script- 
ing language, in addition to offering 
standard calculation and program con- 
trol functions, can respond to events 
such as mouse clicks and movement, the 
opening of a new spreadsheet or the 

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MARCH 1992 • BYTE 237 


changing of an old one, and spreadsheet 
recalculation. One of the scripts includ- 
ed in the packages, for example, shows 
how to update a spreadsheet cell while 
the processor is idle. Other scripting 
features include the ability to create dia- 
log boxes, respond to dialog boxes, and 
create new menu items. 

Another of Wingz' helpful functions is 
its ability to call external functions writ- 
ten in languages such as C or Pascal. 
This allows Wingz to perform special- 
ized, complex calculations and even 
interface with hardware data-acquisition 

Resolve requires 2 MB of disk space 
for a basic installation and 5 MB with 
examples. Wingz requires approximate- 
ly 2 MB for a basic installation and 
another 630 KB for the program's tuto- 
rial and samples. 

Calculate Summary 

In the DOS world, picking a spreadsheet 
has become a tough call. Quattro Pro and 
Lotus 1-2-3 release 2.3 are extraordinary 
packages; they do things on low-end 
machines with limited memory that most 
other software companies only dream of. 

Both are highly graphical programs that 
prove you don't need a full-blown GUI 
to look good. 

In the Windows realm, Excel, Lotus 
1-2-3, and Wingz all take full advantage 
of the graphical environment and pre- 
sent you with an intuitive, attractive 
interface that masks complex opera- 
tions. Wingz is appropriately named; 
when put to the test, it soars past Excel 
and Lotus 1-2-3. All three are strong 
contenders if you need a spreadsheet 
with one foot in the Windows environ- 
ment and another in the Macintosh 

In the Macintosh environment, Claris' s 
Resolve is a hands-down winner for 
general performance and presentation 
capabilities. Its ease of use, price, and 
support for System 7.0-specific features 
put it ahead of the pack. Microsoft 
Excel simply cannot be beaten for fea- 
tures. If you need all the bells and whis- 
tles, access to external databases, and 
the ability to solve multivariable prob- 
lems, then Excel is a must-have. The 
prize for the most graphical functions as 
well as the best performance goes to 
Wingz, an excellent product with a 

steep learning curve. Wingz also merits 
consideration for its ability to run on 
Macs and Windows systems. Lotus 1-2- 
3 is the spreadsheet to have if you work 
in a shop that's committed to 1-2-3 on 
DOS machines but also has Macs; its 
cross-platform capabilities, particularly 
its file sharing prowess, gives it a sig- 
nificant edge. 

While the competition in the spread- 
sheet market has resulted in better pro- 
grams, it makes buying recommenda- 
tions and decisions much more difficult. 
Gone are the days when you could just 
walk in and say, "Give me Lotus." Pick- 
ing the right spreadsheet program is no 
longer as easy as 1-2-3. ■ 

BYTE Lab editor Raymond GA Cote is 
continuing his 15-year love affair with 
computers as tools and toys. He has 
extensive experience as a software 
developer and designer of interpretive 
languages and user interfaces. David 
L. Edwards is a consulting editor for 
the BYTE Lab. You can reach them on 
BIX as "rgacote" and l< dedwards } " 


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Raising the Ceiling: 

Nine Memory Managers for Today's Processors 


The PCs of today are generally bur- 
dened with stacks of TSR utilities, 
drivers for nonstandard devices, 
and links to other systems through net- 
work software. These all take up mem- 
ory, and, traditionally, they're shoe- 
horned into that 10-year-old bugaboo, 
the 640-KB DOS application area. 

New processors bring the ability to ad- 
dress more than the 8088's 1 MB of 
memory, along with silicon for manag- 
ing that extra memory. As a result, you 
can move around blocks of memory in 
the address space so that they can appear 
anywhere, in any order. By deftly mov- 
ing memory around, it's possible to move 




Memory managers use the 
advanced capabilities of late- 
model Intel CPUs to make more 
memory available to DOS 


You often wind up with over 620 
KB of conventional memory by 
using one of these products, even 
with bulky LAN drivers installed. 


Memory managers can be 
difficult to configure. 


Use 386Max (or BlueMax, if you 
have a PS/2). 

TSRs, drivers, and other resident soft- 
ware out of the 640-KB space, freeing 
more memory for DOS applications. 

In this review, I'll examine nine util- 
ities that tap into the memory manage- 
ment features of 286, 386, and 486 pro- 
cessors, and some specialized memory 
management chips, to give DOS applica- 
tions more room. In addition, I found two 
inexpensive shareware memory manag- 
ers that may be just right for you (see the 
text box "The Shareware Side" on page 
244). If you're running DOS on a late- 
model PC that has some extra memory, 
you should probably use one of these 

The Test-Bed 

The nine memory managers I put under 
the microscope are 386Max 6.0 and 
BlueMax 6.0 from Qualitas, QEMM- 
386 6.0 from Quarterdeck Office Sys- 
tems, Dynamic Memory Control 3.0 
from Adlersparre & Associates, Memory 
Commander 2.11 from V Communica- 
tions, Maximizer 3.3 from SoftNet Com- 
munication, NetRoom 2.01 from Helix 
Software, and QMAPS 2.0 and UMB 
Pro 2.0 from Quadtel. 

To test these products, I used several 
computers in a variety of configurations. 
Two notebook computers took part: a 
Bitwise Designs 33-MHz 386 and Com- 
puAdd's Companion SX, a 20-MHz 
386SX. Both had 4 MB of RAM and ran 
DOS 5.0. The desktop units in the test 
were a Gateway 2000 386/33 with 16MB 
of RAM, an IBM PS/2 Model 70 with 6 
MB of RAM, and an IBM PS/2 Model 80 
with 5 MB of RAM. I put all the ma- 
chines on a NetWare LAN. I used Xir- 
com Pocket Token Ring adapters with 
Xircom's SMARTIPX.EXE on the Bit- 
wise and CompuAdd notebook systems; 

SMARTIPX is 192 KB but whittles itself 
down to 9 KB of resident code— a good 
test for these memory managers. 

If you're not familiar with the stan- 
dards, acronyms, and buzzwords associ- 
ated with DOS memory managers, you'll 
want to scan the definitions in the text 
box "DOS Memory Management Glos- 
sary" on page 242. 

386Max 6.0 and BlueMax 6.0 

One of the most full-featured of memory 
managers, 386Max uses all the docu- 
mented (and many undocumented) tricks 
to give you more conventional memory. 
Its MAXIMIZE configuration utility 
automatically discovers the combination 
of device drivers and TSRs that fit best 
into upper memory, making 386Max 
easy to install. 

386Max used its FlexFrame feature to 
load SMARTIPX.EXE into upper mem- 
ory. FlexFrame borrowed some memory 
and temporarily disabled the EMS page 
frame to load the 192-KB executable 
file. Once SMARTIPX shrank to its 
9-KB resident size, 386Max returned the 
unused memory to its previous state. 
DOS 5 . by itself couldn't load SMART- 
IPX into upper memory. 

Included with 386Max is ASQ, a com- 
puter configuration and memory-usage 
analysis program. You can use ASQ if 
you're curious about your computer; you 
don't need it for the normal operation of 

Of the utilities I evaluated, 386Max 
provides the most types of interfaces to 
expanded and extended memory. With 
386Max, you get support for EMS 4.0, 
Extended Memory Specification (XMS), 
Virtual Control Program Interface 
(VCPI), DOS Protected Mode Interface 
(DPMI), and Virtual Direct Memory 

240 BYTE- MARCH 1992 





Of the 11 memory managers tested, only three— 386Max, BlueMax, and QEMM-386—can have TSRs larger than 
available memory and automatically allocate TSRs. (• = yes; O = no; N/A = not applicable; NS = no support.) 




Dynamic Memory 

Memory Control Commander 

3.0 2.11 









Price $130 











Works with DOS 5.0 • 











Works with Windows • 











Can instance TSRs • 











Minimum RAM required 1 KB 



22 KB 

3 KB 







Maximum RAM 


4 GB 











Drivers and TSRs in 

upper memory • 











TSRs larger than 

available memory • 











Unloads drivers, TSRs O 











Automatic TSR 

allocation • 











Memory mapper 

software • 











CPU types 1 , 2 











1 = 386, 486 

2 = Chips & Technologies 82C2 12 NEAT. 82C235 SCAT, or 82C302 or 82C307 Chipset DRAM controller. 

Access Services (VDS). In addition, 
386Max supports the instancing of TSRs 
in DOS sessions under 386 enhanced- 
mode Windows. Instancing lets you run 
multiple copies of a TSR or driver in dif- 
ferent DOS sessions. 

If you have a 386-based IBM PS/2, 
IBM supplied you with extra ROM BIOS 
code that can operate in protected mode. 
Under DOS, you don't need it. A sepa- 
rate Qualitas product, BlueMax, is a spe- 
cial version of 386Max that remaps the 
ROM BIOS memory and gives you an- 
other 84 KB of upper memory. 

QEMM-386 6.0 

QEMM-386 is another full-featured 
memory manager. Its OPTIMIZE func- 
tion automatically analyzes your com- 
puter's configuration and memory and 
tells QEMM-386 where best to put your 
device drivers and TSRs. If you have 10 
TSRs and device drivers of varying sizes 
and want to configure by hand, you'll 
find there are 3,628,800 combinations to 
try. Better let OPTIMIZE do the work. 

The dynamic management scheme 
that 386Max calls FlexFrame has a 
QEMM-386 equivalent named Squeeze. 
Squeeze allows QEMM-386, like 386- 

Max, to bring honor to itself by loading 
the 192-KB SMARTIPX TSR into upper 

QEMM's computer and memory anal- 
ysis software, MANIFEST, is more 
complete than ASQ. As with ASQ, you 
probably won't need MANIFEST in the 
normal course of operating QEMM. 

QEMM provides EMS, XMS, VCPI, 
and VDS support, although not DPMI. 
QEMM can also remap ROM BIOS 
memory with what it calls Stealth tech- 
nology. On a PS/2 with no network card 
installed, QEMM typically gives you an 
extra 96 KB of upper memory; on a 
Compaq 20e, it can give you 136 KB of 
upper memory to use. 

QEMM is compatible with Windows 
3.x, but it can't instance TSRs in a DOS 
session. Like 386Max, QEMM specially 
recognizes NEAT or SCAT chip sets 
from Chips & Technologies and makes 
use of their unique memory management 

Dynamic Memory Control 3.0 

Dynamic Memory Control (DMC) is an 
add-on for products like QEMM and 
386Max, not a competitor. With DMC, 
you can unload device drivers and TSRs 

from memory and then load new ones 
without rebooting. 

You can use DMC on device drivers 
and TSRs loaded in conventional mem- 
ory as well as upper memory. You may 
already be familiar with the public do- 
main MARK/RELEASE utilities, which 
became popular when people first began 
using TSRs. DMC goes several steps fur- 
ther, letting you manage TSRs in upper 
memory and letting you load and unload 
device drivers from the DOS command 
line. I used DMC to unload IBM's LAN 
Support Program device drivers and re- 
place them with Locus Computing's PC 
Interface device drivers so that I could 
switch from NetWare to PC Interface on 
a Token Ring LAN without rebooting. 

Memory Commander 2.11 

Other memory managers can provide 
more than 640 KB of conventional DOS 
memory — up to over 700 KB worth — but 
Memory Commander goes further. De- 
pending on your computer's configura- 
tion, Memory Commander can give you 
up to 952 KB of conventional memory in 
which to run DOS applications./ But the 
catches are numerous: You must use a 
monochrome display adapter, you can't 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 241 


DOS Memory Management Glossary 

conventional memory The memory 
that's directly addressable by an Intel 
CPU in real mode. The upper boundary 
is normally the infamous 640-KB limit, 
but some memory managers raise that. 

DOS Protected Mode Interface 
(DPMI) Developed by Microsoft, 
DPMI offers functions similar to VCPI 
but enforces control over extended 
memory access. 

expanded memory Invented jointly 
by Lotus, Intel, and Microsoft, ex- 
panded memory lets an application 
bank-switch RAM, in 16-KB blocks, 
from an Expanded Memory Specifica- 
tion memory card into conventional or 
upper memory. Version 4.0 of EMS is 
the most recent. On 386 and 486 ma- 
chines, memory managers can trans- 

form extended memory into expanded 

extended memory Memory that is 
above the 1-MB threshold, addressable 
only in protected mode. 

Extended Memory Specification 

(XMS) Also developed by Lotus, 
Intel, and Microsoft, this standard pro- 
vides a rudimentary means for DOS ap- 
plications to use portions of extended 

high memory area (HMA) The 

first 64 KB of extended memory, minus 
16 bytes, beginning at the 1-MB thresh- 
old. Through a quirk in the design of the 
286, 386, and 486 CPU chips, it is pos- 
sible to address these 65,520 bytes in 
real mode. 

upper memory The memory be- 
tween 640 KB and 1 MB. Video adapt- 
ers, ROM BIOS chips, hard drive con- 
troller ROMs, and network adapters live 
in this region, but there are "holes"— 
upper memory blocks— that some mem- 
ory managers can map as conventional 

Virtual Control Program Interface 
(VCPI) memory Quarterdeck Office 
Systems and Phar Lap Software devel- 
oped the VCPI standard to let DOS ap- 
plications cooperatively share extended 
memory without conflict. 

Virtual Direct Memory Access Ser- 
vices (VDS) Another Microsoft stan- 
dard, VDS lets a memory manager and 
a computer's hardware components 
share the use of the DMA controller. 

load a lot of TSRs and device drivers into 
upper memory, you can't access EMS 
memory, you can't use Windows, and 
you can't have an adapter card whose 
memory address overlaps the 952-KB 
area. If you can live with these restric- 
tions, then you can have 952 KB of con- 
ventional memory. On a VGA-equipped 
computer, you can get up to 920 KB if 
you don't use graphical applications, and 
up to 800 KB if you do use graphics. 

Memory Commander shifts and re- 
maps video display adapter memory, on 
the fly, as you use your computer. This 
memory is normally located just above 
the 640-KB boundary. Memory Com- 
mander maintains a list of applications 
internally, so it knows which video mode 
is appropriate for an application. 

Besides offering more conventional 
memory, Memory Commander has 
many of the same features as the other 
memory managers. It supports EMS 4.0, 
XMS, VCPI, and VDS; it loads device 
drivers and TSRs into upper memory; 
and it can instance TSRs within a Win- 
dows 3.x DOS session. However, Mem- 
ory Commander was unable to load 
SMARTIPX into upper memory. 


If all you want to do is manage upper 
memory, and if you don't mind a little 

manual effort to help Maximizer find 
and use upper memory blocks, Maximiz- 
er is a less expensive alternative to the 
other memory manager products. Dur- 
ing installation, you give Maximizer 
commands (op codes) to tell it which 
areas in upper memory to use. 

Maximizer can load device drivers and 
TSRs into upper memory, and it can 
make more than 640 KB available to 
your DOS applications. It couldn't load 
SMARTIPX into upper memory, and it 
won't give you EMS 4.0, XMS, VCPI, 
VDS, or DPMI memory. But it works 
with Windows and DOS 5.0, and it lets 
you instance device drivers and TSRs 
within an enhanced-mode DOS session. 

NetRoom 2.01 

Its name suggests that it works only on 
LANs. Actually, you can use NetRoom 
just like the other 386-based memory 
managers to load even nonnetwork driv- 
ers and TSRs into high memory. Net- 
Room uses the special capabilities of the 
386 CPU chip to remap upper memory 
and to provide EMS 4.0 and XMS sup- 
port. It does not, however, offer VCPI, 
VDS, or DPMI support. It, too, failed to 
load SMARTIPX into upper memory. 

The installation procedure is some- 
what more automatic than Maximizer's, 
but it is not nearly as easy to use or as 

transparent as that of QEMM-386 or 
386Max. NetRoom's DISCOVER pro- 
gram includes a text editor for making 
modifications to your CONFIG.SYS and 

NetRoom's strength is the extent to 
which the documentation describes how 
to set up NetRoom for particular LAN 
environments, including NetWare, Ban- 
yan Vines, LAN Manager, 3Com + , PC 
LAN Program, and LANtastic. Like 
386Max and QEMM, NetRoom special- 
ly recognizes Chips & Technologies' 
NEAT or SCAT chip sets and makes use 
of their memory management functions. 

QM APS 2.0 and UMB Pro 2.0 

QMAPS stands for Quadtel Memory Al- 
location and Paging System; UMB Pro 
refers, of course, to Upper Memory 
Blocks. QMAPS is an EMS 4.0 memory 
manager that uses EMS to load device 
drivers and TSRs into upper memory. 

QMAPS isn't as full-featured as 
386Max or QEMM, but it supports more 
memory specifications than NetRoom or 
Maximizer: EMS 4.0, XMS, VCPI, and 
VDS. QMAPS cannot instance device 
drivers or TSRs within a Windows DOS 
session, but it is compatible with Win- 
dows 3.x and DOS 5.0. 

Installing QMAPS is not quite as 
"hands-on" an operation as installing 

242 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

When You Think 387, 
Think faster. 










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The benefits of our new SuperMath" coprocessors are very easy 

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► Plug-in compatible 
and software compatible with 
industry standard 387DX and 
387SX coprocessors 

► Up to 600% better perfor- 
mance at the instruction level 

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For more information on our 
SuperMath coprocessors, call (800) 944-MATH. 

SuperMath Coprocessors. The fastest way to improve your system. 






Opening The Future Of Microprocessing. 

©1991 Chips and Technologies. Inc., 3050 Zanker Road, San Jose, C A 95134. SuperMath and Super386 are registered trademarks o f Chips and Technologies 
Lotus, Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft. Microsoft Excel, AutoCad 386, Intel, 387DX and 387SX are registered trademarks of their respective holders. 

Circle 37 on Inquiry Card. 


The Shareware Side 

CTMAP 0.98 from Burton Sys- 
tems Software is a shareware 
memory manager for computers 
using a Chips & Technologies 
chip set. At only $30, it's a steal. 

If you are using a 286, 386, or 386SX 
computer that includes a Chips & Tech- 
nologies 82C212 NEAT chip set, an 
82C235 SCAT chip, or an 82C302 or 
82C307 Chipset DRAM controller 
chip, CTMAP knows how to rearrange 
and manage memory so you get up to 
944 KB of conventional memory. If you 
have EGA or VGA but don't use graph- 
ics, CTMAP extends the 640-KB ceil- 
ing upward to 704 KB or 736 KB. By 
mapping up to 240 KB of discontinuous 
upper memory space, CTMAP lets 
DOS have even more memory. How- 
ever, some software can't use discontin- 
uous RAM. 

The CTMAP memory manager 
doesn't put the CPU in protected mode, 
and it doesn't install a TSR program or 
device driver, which makes it highly 
compatible with protected-mode soft- 

ware. It even works in the DOS boxes of 
versions 1.2 and 1.3 of OS/2. 

VRAM/386 and HRAM 1.0 

Beginning with version 1.05, Biologic 
turned VRAM/386 and the companion 
HRAM into a commercial product. 
Still, the shareware version 1.0 is quite 
capable and reasonably priced at $35. 

VRAM/386 uses the same memory- 
mapping techniques as the other 386- 
based products in this review. It con- 
verts extended memory into expanded 
memory, following the EMS 4.0 speci- 
fication, and it can raise the 640-KB 
ceiling by 96 KB if you're not using 
VGA. VRAM and HRAM can manage 
up to 208 KB of upper memory for relo- 
cating TSRs and device drivers. HRAM 
manages upper memory blocks. One 
drawback to VRAM is that you must use 
its CHKMEM utility to find out what 
blocks of upper memory are available 
and manually tell VRAM about them. 
VRAM is compatible with Windows 
and supports the VCPI standard. 

Maximizer, but you will need to figure 
out where you want to put things in mem- 
ory. A menu-driven configuration utility 
will help you. And QMAPS offers up to 
28 standard configurations from which 
you can select at installation time. 

UMB Pro, also from Quadtel, is much 
like Maximizer— it manages upper mem- 
ory blocks so you can load drivers and 
TSRs high, but it doesn't give you EMS 
4.0, XMS, VCPI, VDS, or DPMI mem- 
ory. However, it does work with Win- 
dows 3.x and DOS 5.0. Neither QMAPS 
nor UMB Pro managed to load SMART- 
IPX into upper memory. 

Still a Necessity 

The best of these programs is 386Max 
(or BlueMax for a PS/2). It's so easy to 
use and offers such significant benefits 
that it should be part of every 386 and 
486 DOS system. 

The trend toward protected-mode and 
Windows-native applications may well 
eliminate the need for memory managers 
one day. But as long as I have pet pro- 
grams that must run in that all-important 
first megabyte of memory, I will con- 
tinue to depend on memory managers. ■ 

Barry Nance is a consulting editor for 
BYTE. He manages a 70-node NetWare 
LAN and is the editor of the IBM Ex- 
change and moderator of the lans confer- 
ence on BIX, where you can reach him as 
"barryn. " 


Adlersparre & Associates 

Helix Software 

Quarterdeck Office Systems 

(Dynamic Memory Control 3.0) 


(QEMM-386 6.0) 

501-1803 Douglas St. 

47-09 30th St. 

150 Pico Blvd. 

Victoria, BC, Canada V8T 5C3 

Long Island City, NY 11101 

Santa Monica, CA 90405 




fax: (604) 384-3363 

fax: (718) 392-4212 

fax: (213) 314-4219 

Circle 1 231 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1234 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 237 on Inquiry Card. 

Biologic Corp. 

Quadtel Corp. 

SoftNet Communication, Inc. 

(VRAM/386 and HRAM 1.0) 

(QMAPS 2.0, UMB Pro 2.0) 

(Maximizer 3.3) 

P.O. Box 1267 

3190-J Airport Loop Dr. 

1 1 Hillcrest Dr. 

Manassas, VA 221 10 

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 

Great Neck, NY 11021 

(703) 368-2949 

(714) 754-4422 

(212) 956-2390 


fax: (714) 754-4426 

Circle 1 238 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 232 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 235 on Inquiry Card. 

V Communications 

Burton Systems Software, Inc. 

Qualitas, Inc. 

(Memory Commander 2.11) 

(CTMAP 0.98) 

(386Max 6.0, BlueMax 6.0) 

4320 Stevens Creek Blvd., 

P.O. Box 4156 

7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1386 

Suite 275 

Cary,NC 27519 

Bethesda", MD 20814 

San Jose, CA 95129 


(800) 733-1377 

(408) 296-4224 



fax: (408) 296-4441 

Circle 1 233 on Inquiry Card. 

fax: (301) 907-0905 

Circle 1 236 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 23>9 on Inquiry Card. 

244 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

When it comes to 
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All other trademarks are of their respective companies. ©1991 IIT. All rights reserved. 

Call now for more information 



T C C H N O L O G 

Circle 64 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 65). 



NetWare Grows Lean, Not Mean 

Seruer uersion 
Seruer address 
Hetnork auditing 
SHnRn running 

1-help Esc-go back 


While Novell's NetWare and Micro- 
soft's LAN Manager slugged it 
out for dominance on the network- 
operating-system high ground, the peer 
LAN arena heated up with a competition 
of its own. The result was a group of tai- 
lored products that suit small 
workgroups for whom server- 
based NetWare is too expen- 

Recently, Novell intro- 
duced its own peer-to-peer 
LAN operating system, Net- 
Ware Lite. Like most other 
peer LAN products, NetWare 
Lite is DOS-based, so you 
don't need to purchase a sepa- 
rate computer to act as a file 
server. Smaller workgroups 
can cost-justify a NetWare 
Lite LAN ($99 per node for 
the software) in situations 
where NetWare 2.2 ($895 for 
five users, $1995 for 10 us- 
ers—not to mention the cost of 
a file server) is not in the 

Last November, I reviewed five peer- 
to-peer LANs ("Peer LANs Offer a 
Low-Cost Network Alternative," No- 
vember 1991 BYTE). Just about the time 
that issue hit the newsstands, Novell be- 
gan selling NetWare Lite. This month I 
put NetWare Lite 1.0 through the same 
paces as the other products, using the 
same criteria: reliability, ease of use, 
price, security, features, and perfor- 

Network Trials 

I ran a set of LAN-based test suites to de- 
termine NetWare Lite's reliability, appli- 
cation compatibility, performance, and 
peer-to-peer communications capability. 
The reliability test concurrently copies 
1000 files totaling 15 MB between sev- 
eral machines to test for file errors under 
load. NetWare Lite passed this test with- 
out incident. As with the other peer LAN 
products, you can trust Lite with your 

The compatibility suite checks for 
LAN-operating-system compliance with 
DOS file-sharing conventions. All DOS 
applications issue DOS function calls to 

Screen 1 : A 

NetWare Lite menu 
option displays 
drive mappings. 
Here, drives E 
through I are Lite 
drives, while 
drive N is a 
NetWare 3.11 
file server. 

Scruer up-tine Dags 8 Hours 8 Ainu 

y 1.08 



Snruer-biisy packets 
Server cache hits 
Packets receiued 
Bad packets received 
Uatchriog tern i nations 


















Fl-help Esc-go back Enter-nap driue letter Del-delete U 

Connect ions 4 
Client tasks 10 
Open files 40 

Hun net directories 4 
Hun net printers 1 
Print buffer si2e 512 
Receive buffers 3 
Receive buffer size 4,096 
Hun read buffers 3 
Read buffer size 4,096 

perform LAN file I/O. Certain func- 
tions (e.g., create file, change directory, 
and delete file) should behave exactly the 
same on a LAN as they do on a local 
disk. Other functions (e.g., open file, 
read file, write file, and lock record) op- 
erate differently on a file server so that 
multiple users of an application can 
share, or not share, files as necessary. 

As I mentioned in November, a LAN 
operating system that passes these tests 
implements the specifications correctly, 
and it should work fine with Paradox, 
dBase, FoxPro, WordPerfect Office, and 
other DOS-based applications. NetWare 
Lite passed the DOS file-sharing test 
suite but didn't achieve a perfect score. I 
found that two workstations that attempt- 
ed to open the same file in compatibility 
mode (as described in the IBM DOS 
Technical Reference) were both able to 
open the same file under NetWare Lite. 
With the other peer LAN products, as 
with server-based NetWare 2.2 and 3.11, 
the second workstation's open attempt 
failed, as it should. The error is a small 
one, and it probably won't affect your ap- 
plications if you buy NetWare Lite. 

The performance suite determines the 

Screen 2: The Lite server 
status screen bears a strong 
resemblance to a NetWare 
3.11 "Monitor " screen. 

LAN operating system's network file I/O 
performance by reading and writing files 
of random sizes. PowerLAN won the 
race last November; it proved itself a sec- 
ond time by outdistancing NetWare Lite 
(see the benchmark graph). For this test, 
I used a LAN whose topology is based on 
Thomas Conrad's 100-Mbps fiber op- 
tics-based TCNS, with 33-MHz 486 
ALR PowerPro and 33-MHz 386 Gate- 
way 2000 computers as peer servers/ 
workstations. Certainly, with 100-Mbps 
fiber optics and fast workstations such as 
these, the hardware was not a limiting 

I set up a 32-KB RAM cache with 
DOS 5.0's SMARTDRV.SYS, and I re- 
booted all the computers prior to each 
test. I asked a Novell spokesperson why 
NetWare Lite was slower, and he told me 
that it's designed for simple operation 
and ease of use, not speed. Fair enough. 

The final suite tests PC-to-PC com- 
munications using both NetBIOS and 
IPX programming techniques. Third- 
party LAN utilities, remote control, and 
some E-mail packages use these pro- 
tocols to talk PC-to-PC. NetWare Lite 
passed the tests in this category with fly- 

246 BYTE* MARCH 1992 

ing colors, and it is the only peer LAN 
operating system that provides both IPX 
and NetBIOS protocols. 

Easy to Install 

Easy installation, ease of use, and sim- 
plicity are NetWare Lite's hallmarks. 
The manual gets high marks for read- 
ability. I would almost suggest that you 
get a copy of NetWare Lite just to read the 
manual— it's the best introduction to net- 
works I've ever seen. The manual uses a 
series of railroad metaphors to explain 
LAN basics, making difficult concepts 
clear with its illustrations. The on-line 
help facility is similarly clear and com- 

You share directories and printers on 
each designated server with simple com- 
mands or with NetWare Lite's menuing 
system (see screens 1 and 2). The menus 
are clear, direct, and virtually foolproof. 
NetWare Lite is compatible with Micro- 
soft Windows, although you must spec- 
ify "no network" or "MS/Network com- 
patible" instead of the usual "NetWare 
network" setup option. 

NetWare Lite interoperates with its 
bigger brothers, NetWare 2.2 and 3.11. 
You simply run NETx.COM in addition 
to the NetWare Lite software and then log 
into the server as usual. NetWare Lite 
comes with Open Data Link Interface 
drivers for a variety of network adapters, 
and it works with any adapter that sup- 
plies an ODI driver. 

NetWare Lite supports up to 25 users, 
somewhat less than other peer LAN 
products. There is no technical reason it 
couldn't support more users, but Novell 

probably prefers that you'll switch to reg- 
ular NetWare when your LAN grows to 
25 users. NetWare Lite will not recog- 
nize an uninterruptible power supply. It 
can, if you wish, let you share a CD- 
ROM drive across the network. NetWare 
Lite does not support remote boot; each 
workstation must have a floppy or hard 
drive from which to run the software. 

If you press Ctrl-Alt-Del at a server, 
NetWare Lite asks you if you are sure you 
want to reboot the computer. If you go 
ahead and reboot the server, worksta- 
tions can reconnect, but only by answer- 
ing "Retry" to the DOS "Abort, Retry, 
Ignore?" message. When I asked Novell 
about this, a spokesperson said that the 
company would think about making the 
reconnection process friendlier and more 
automatic in a future release. 

Printing to a shared printer is easy 
with NetWare Lite. At a workstation, you 
use a NET CAPTURE command much 
like the one you'd use with regular Net- 
Ware to redirect printouts to a remote 
printer. You can specify whether you 
want a banner page ( job separator page) 
printed, the number of copies to print, 
whether a formfeed should automatically 
be inserted into the print stream by Net- 
Ware Lite, the amount of idle time Net- 
Ware Lite should use to detect the end of 
the print operation (in case the applica- 
tion doesn't actually close the LPTx de- 
vice when it's done printing), the setup 
string NetWare Lite should use as a pre- 
fix to the print material, and other print 
parameters. You can view and change the 
print queue; NetWare Lite displays job 
number, user, job name, and job status 




NetWare Lite lets PCs share each 
other's hard disks and printers as 
equals, without your having to 
use a separate file server. 


NetWare Lite is the easiest peer 
LAN to install, use, and manage. It 
operates well by itself or as part 
of a larger NetWare 2.2 or 3. 1 1 


Performance will become an issue 
as your LAN grows. Reconnecting 
to a rebooted server isn't 


If you're new to networking, or 
want to have a peer LAN within a 
larger NetWare LAN, get 
NetWare Lite. 


$99 per node 


Novell, Inc. 

122 East 1700 South 

Provo,UT 84606 



Circle 1225 on Inquiry Card. 


Baseline (local disk) 

NetWare Lite 1 


PowerLAN 2.10 

■■■ ^HM | 

Network File I/O (one workstation) 

•.mnrsm hb&y/* 

5.0 10.0 


10.0 20.0 


Network File I/O (four workstations) 

10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 


I Write 

NetWare Lite is fast, but not fastest. PowerLAN, the fastest peer LAN BYTE has tested, outran NetWare Lite on our tests. NetWare 
Lite 's score of about two-thirds the speed of PowerLAN makes it about average among peer LANs we benchmarked in November. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 247 

DADiSP 3.0 

Scientific Data Analysis 

Signal Processing & FFTs 
Filter Design 
Speech/ Communications 
Sonar & Radar 
Electro) I sign 
Mechanical Test 
Vibration Analysis 

Medical Imaging 
Terrain Rendering 

Data Acquisition 


Test & Measurement 

Process Control 

Quality Improvement 

Manufacturing Test 


Experimental Design 
Hypothesis, Testing 
Peak Analysis 
Medical Research 
Quality Management 

Inverse I Transpose 
Eigen Values & Vectors 
Matrix Math 

2D FFTs and convolutions 
3D and 4D Graphic Displays 
Operations Research 


for your free DADiSP Trial Kit DADiSP is available for 
SUN, HP, IBM, NeXT, DEC, Concurrent, and Silicon 
Graphics workstations, and of course, IBM PC compatibles. 



One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 
617-577-1133, FAX: 617-577-8211 


so you can check on your printout. 

Your data is as secure with NetWare 
Lite as with regular NetWare. For each 
user, you can enable/disable the account, 
grant or revoke supervisor (manage- 
ment) privileges, require passwords, set 
the minimum number of characters and 
expiration date of the password, and of 
course delete accounts. For each direc- 
tory, you can specify default access 
rights and single out those users who 
should have nondefault access rights. 

NetWare Lite is copy-protected, but 
there are no laser holes burned into the 
distribution disks. Instead, when you 
start NetWare Lite at a workstation, it 
communicates with the other worksta- 
tions to see if that same instance of the 
software is already running at another 
workstation. If software has to be copy 
protected, this is the way to do it— a net- 
work-based scheme is the least intrusive 
and easiest to administer. 

For technical support, Novell offers 
several options. You can fax your inqui- 
ries to Novell, use the Net Wire forum on 
CompuServe, ask your dealer to answer 
your questions, or use Novell's new 900 
support number. 

Less Filling. . . 

Novell programmers tried to make Net- 
Ware Lite take up as little memory as 
possible. I found that the various Net- 
Ware Lite modules took a total of 96.8 
KB on a server machine: 13.8 KB of 
adapter support software (including 
IPX), 13 KB of client software, 63 KB of 
server software, and 6 KB of SHARE 
.EXE. On a nonpeer, client-only work- 
station, NetWare Lite uses only 26.8 KB 
of RAM. 

DOS 5.0 by itself can load all but the 
server module into high RAM. QEMM 
or 386Max can load all the modules, in- 
cluding the server code, into high RAM 
on a 386 computer. Using QEMM, and 
with DOS 5.0 loaded high, I had 635 KB 
of conventional memory available for 
running applications while logged into 
the NetWare Lite LAN. 

NetWare Lite isn't the cheapest or the 
fastest peer-to-peer LAN operating sys- 
tem you can buy. But it's certainly the 
easiest to install, manage, and use. For 
the first-time LAN, or for peer access 
within a larger NetWare 2.2 or 3.11 
LAN, it's an excellent choice. ■ 

Barry Nance is a consulting editor for 
BYTE. He manages a 70-node NetWare 
LAN and is the editor of the IBM Ex- 
change and moderator of the lans confer- 
ence on BIX, where you can reach him as 
"barryn. " 

248 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

Circle 52 on Inquiry Card. 



DOS S with MAX 6. 


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Of course, DOS 5 helps with its 
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you load programs high- if you want 
to do it by hand. 

But for optimal memory manage- 
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DOS by automatically arranging pro- 
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And using MAX 6 is 
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improved version of 
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The ultimate in power and luxury 
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New386MAX6for286* 386, 
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Frankly, whether you use DOS 5 or 
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an absolute minimum of effort. 

See your dealer or call toll-free 


Call to upgrade for just $29.95 plus 

■ s ,\: . ' 

Hie Intelligent Memory Managers 

}s BLUEMAX C&T286 to 

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or registered trademarks oftiieir respective owners. System Requirements: Any 386 or 486 PC or PS/2, min. 256K of extended memory, 
f\w *^(ft D ^ S ^ or h ^her, and hard disk drive. *386MAX supports 286 systems with Sliadow RAM. Feature 

t#TJ/ \T j TTT VS ovailability and memory recovery may vary. * * Offer valid in North America only. 

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For International information circle 59, For End-User information circle 60 on Inquiry Card. 



Swift Programming for Windows, in Windows 


Windows programs may be easy to 
use, but as any experienced Win- 
dows programmer will tell you, 
they're a pain to write. That pain comes 
partly from the complexity of Windows 
itself. Even more bothersome, Windows 
C programming tools traditionally run 
under DOS, which requires cumbersome 
switches between environments to de- 
velop and debug your code. 

Microsoft's QuickC for Windows 
changes all that, at least for those C de- 
velopers who work on simple Windows 
applications, or would like to. The Quick 
in QuickC for Windows has a broad 
meaning: Microsoft bills the product as 
the fastest way to develop C programs for 
Windows. After working with it for a 
while, I think the company's right. 

Setting Up 

I installed QuickC for Windows on a To- 
shiba T2000SX laptop with 5 MB of 
memory and a 60-MB hard drive. I ran 
Stacker 2.0 on the hard drive to give 
QuickC a little more room to breathe. As 
with most Windows programs, QuickC's 
installation is almost completely auto- 
matic. The standard installation takes up 
a bit over 6 MB, although you do have the 
option of selecting only those portions of 
the package you wish to install. 

The product's hefty size results from 
its incredible completeness. QuickC for 
Windows includes everything necessary 
for developing Windows programs, so 
there's no need for the Windows Soft- 
ware Development Kit (SDK). There are 
also several sample applications and a set 
of help files that, by themselves, justify 
the cost of this package. 

Help Is on the Way 

If you're learning Windows, or learning 
C, or (heaven help you) tackling both at 
once, I can think of no better place to 
start than with QuickC for Windows. 
The help system is more complete, and 
more helpful, than any I've seen. Wading 
through Microsoft's examples, or any- 
one's C or Windows code, for that mat- 
ter, becomes much easier: When you 
come across a confusing function call, C 
keyword, Windows structure definition, 
or other entity , just double-click on it and 

The QuickC for 
places an editor, a 
compiler, a 
debugger, and 
other tools under 
the control of a 
central interface. 

QuickC for Windows 

File fEdtt View £roject Rub Qcbug loo Is Options Window Help 
Fonts:- [Courier fl R a ; [TF^] [JBiM^PTf] 

<1 > C:\QCWIMS01 

if(hUndHain ■== HULL) 

LoadString(hInst. IDS_ES 
MassageBax(HBLI. szStrin 

ShowWindow{hVndt(ain, nCadSh 

vrulef,GetMessage<&nisg. HULI 

Trans la t ©Message (kmsg ) ; 

'• Do clean up before e>:it 
return »sg . vParai* ; 

press Fl. There are copious hypertext 
links to other help entries, and QuickC's 
help system adds embedded icons repre- 
senting major subject groups. There are 
even source code samples in some of the 
help file entries. 

With my 5 MB of system memory, I 
hopped in and out of the QuickC for Win- 
dows help system with relative ease. On 
systems with less memory, the Windows 
help system can be a drain on resources, 
and it becomes much less effective as an 
aid when you have to wait several sec- 
onds for it to pop up. The problems of the 
standard Windows help system are mag- 
nified by QuickC for Windows; it up- 
dates the help system executable file, 
WINHELP.EXE, with a larger, more 
capable one during installation. 

Supporting Roles 

While QuickC is (obviously) a compiler, 
that portion of it seems almost incidental 
compared with the rest of the package. 
QuickC for Windows includes a valuable 
set of tools: the Dialog Editor, for visual 
layout of dialog boxes; the Image Editor, 
for editing graphical objects (primarily 
icons and cursor shapes); QuickCase: W, 
a simple applications generator; and be- 
hind-the-scenes tools, which include the 
linker, resource compiler, and library 
manager. Of these, the most visible are 
the Dialog Editor and QuickCase: W. 

The Dialog Editor should be familiar 
to experienced Windows programmers, 
but it will also give you deja vu if you've 
used Visual Basic; the Dialog Editor's 
interface shares much with this other 
programming environment. In it, you 


(Press HELP lor a description of the questions) 
Systems you use 

(Check ail (hat apply) 

□ iPC tir^tbaiedjl 

□ UmIX Workstation 
Q Macintosh 

□ Other 

Workers in your company " 
(Check one only) 
O 10 50 
O 50 200 
O More than 200 

Your favorite suction 
(Check one only) 

O Features 
O State of the Art 
O Reviews 

Your job classification" 
(Check one only) 

O Administration 
O MIS/DP staff 
O Technical 
O Other 


Done 1 

create dialog boxes (windows that pop up 
to collect information from the user) by 
dragging buttons, text fields, labels, list 
boxes, and other interface objects into a 
prototyping window. The editor lets you 
assign unique names and ID numbers to 
your objects either as you create them or 
later as you select the objects one at a 
time and edit their name and ID fields. 

The Dialog Editor isn't as capable as 
some I've worked with, but it gets the job 
done. When you're finished, the editor 
saves the dialog box, or boxes, that you 
created during your session to a set of 
files: a resource (.RES) file, an include 
(.H) file, and a .DLG file. The .DLG 
and .H files get /^included into your ap- 
plication's resource script (.RC) file, 
while the .RES file is the Dialog Editor's 
reference copy of your interface. The 
.RES extension is also used by the re- 
source compiler (a required step in the 
Windows development process), and that 
complicates things; Microsoft should 
have chosen a unique extension for the 
Dialog Editor's reference files. 

QuickC for Windows includes a rudi- 
mentary code generator, QuickCase: W. 
This program, which is licensed from 
Caseworks, lets you build a Windows ap- 
plication by drawing a prototype of its in- 
terface; it's programming, WYSIWYG- 
style. The QuickCase:W main window is 
a slight superset of the prototype win- 
dow, and you construct your interface 
through a combination of mouse and key- 
board actions. I found this a little cum- 
bersome; there are too many things you 
must do from the keyboard. Perhaps the 
best thing about QuickCase:W is how 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 251 

Circle 1 22 on Inquiry Card. 



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easy it makes building menus. You can 
link menu items to certain actions, in- 
cluding the popping up of dialog boxes 
(created with the Dialog Editor) . 

When you've finished building your 
interface, QuickCase:W churns out the 
source code that makes it work. This pro- 
cess takes a long time, so I'd advise 
against generating your code before you 
are completely finished. What you get, 
however, is worth the wait: a full set of 
files, ready to load into QuickC for Win- 
dows and compile directly. Your applica- 
tion won't do much until you add your 
own code, but the QuickCase:W code 
generator places comments (how heavily 
it comments is up to you) in areas where 
you need to add functional code. This 
gives you a very workable skeleton— a 
much better foundation than Microsoft's 
GENERIC. C code example. 

The Integrated Environment 

You can't buy a compiler these days 
without some kind of integrated environ- 
ment coming along for the ride. QuickC 
for Windows' integrated environment, 
unlike some others, actually enhances 
your productivity by bringing together 
all the essentials in one customizable in- 
terface (see the screen). 

The editor and debugger work through 
child windows of the main QuickC win- 
dow; you can have as many of them open 
as you like. To avoid having to open them 
all again when you rejoin a project later, 
QuickC for Windows lets you save sev- 
eral named window configurations. 

I expected QuickC for Windows to cut 
some corners compared to Microsoft's 
so-called Professional Development Sys- 
tem, and the primary loss of functional- 
ity is in the debugger. The debugger 
that's part of the integrated environment 
doesn't match CodeView (QuickC for 
Windows can generate CodeView-com- 
patible debugging data), but it will help 
you zero in on the problems you're likely 
to encounter in small applications. Sin- 
gle-stepping, breakpoints, and watch ex- 
pressions are part of the debugger's rep- 
ertoire, and that's a good start. What you 
won't get is support for expression evalu- 
ation, the ability to watch Windows mes- 
sages fly around, and some of the other 
"advanced" debugging features. 

Know Thy Limitations 

QuickC for Windows is not the only set of 
Windows development tools that any pro- 
grammer could ever need. You may get 
involved in a project that's simply too big 
or too complicated for QuickC for Win- 
dows to handle. But QuickC for Windows 
is enough to get new programmers start- 




A Windows-hosted C development 
system for the creation of 
Windows and DOS programs. 


Everything needed for Windows 
development is in one package. 
The program also includes a 
bundled applications generator 
and remarkably comprehensive 
on-line documentation. 


Lack of dual media types, a 
sluggish applications generator, 
and a limited debugger. 


QuickC for Windows is a great 
starting system for budding 
Windows developers, and it's a 
well-designed integrated 
environment for experienced 




Microsoft Corp. 
1 Microsoft Way 
Redmond, WA 98052 
(206) 882-8080 

Circle 1226 on Inquiry Card. 

ed, cheaply and easily, and it's also just 
right for the kind of small, relatively 
simple applications that dominate most 
programmers' to-do lists. 

Obviating the need to switch between 
DOS and Windows also makes QuickC 
for Windows a more comfortable place to 
work than the typical Microsoft C/Win- 
dows SDK environment (if you can call it 
that). So QuickC for Windows can also 
serve as a nice launching pad for larger 
projects. In general, if you write Win- 
dows C programs, or would like to start, 
grab a copy of QuickC for Windows. ■ 

Tom Yager is a BYTE technical editor and 
author of the book UNIX Program De- 
sign and Development for IBM PCs (Ad- 
dison-Wesley, 1991). He can be reached 
on BIX as "tyager. " 

252 B YTE • MARCH 1992 



Apple Reinvents the Notebook 


For two years, Apple's Macintosh 
Portable was the butt of jokes. After 
all, its suitcase-size, 18-pound bulk 
didn't measure up to notebook- 
size DOS computers that 
weighed 5 to 7 pounds. But at last 
fall's Comdex, Apple reentered 
the notebook market with a ven 
geance when it introduced three 
PowerBooks— notebook-size Macs 
that weigh from 5 to 7 pounds (see "A 
Peck of New Apple Macintoshes," No 
vember 1991 BYTE). These new Macs, 
with their ability to read DOS floppy 
disks, transparently connect to an of- 
fice's AppleTalk network, and print to 
fax, make on-the-go computing easier 
and more productive than ever. 

Meet the PowerBooks 

All three PowerBooks (see photo 1) have 
640- by 400-pixel screens and two ex- 
pansion slots. One slot is for added mem- 
ory; the other is for a fax/modem board. 
The $2299, 5. 1 -pound PowerBook 100 is 
based on a 16-MHz 68000. It has a 9- 
inch supertwist LCD, 2 MB of RAM, 
and a 20-MB hard drive (see photo 2). 
It's basically the Mac Portable's hard- 
ware and ROMs in a much smaller pack- 
age, one that will easily fit inside a brief- 
case. The most noticeable difference be- 
tween the two computers is that the 
PowerBook 100 does not have a built-in 
floppy drive, although Apple offers an 
external SuperDrive as an option. The 
external floppy drive runs of f the Power- 
Book 100's battery, and it has a cover to 
prevent debris from getting into the drive. 
The PowerBook 140 and 170 are 
slightly larger and heavier (6.8 pounds), 
have an integral SuperDrive, and use the 
more powerful 68030 processor. They 
also have an Enhanced Apple Digital 
Sound Chip (EADSC) for high-quality 
sound output, plus sound recording cir- 
cuitry and a microphone. The $2899 
PowerBook 140 uses a 16-MHz 68030 
and includes 2 MB of RAM, a 20-MB 
hard drive, and a 10-inch supertwist 
LCD. The $4599 PowerBook 170 has a 
25-MHz 68030, a 68882 FPU, 4 MB of 
RAM, a 40-MB hard drive, a fax/mo- 
dem board, and a 10-inch, high-contrast, 
active-matrix LCD screen (see photo 3). 


Photo 1 : Apple 's PowerBook 1 70, 140, and 100 set the standards for portability 
and ease of use. 




Notebook-size Macintoshes. 

For cost-conscious users doing light- 

duty tasks, the PowerBook 100 with 


external floppy drive is a good 

Sturdy, ergonomic design, 

buy. For those who demand more 

excellent weight, and a centrally 

power, the PowerBook 170's 25- 

located trackball make carrying 

MHz parts deliver top Mac 

and using a PowerBook a snap. 

performance in a notebook. 

Fax capabilities are closely 

integrated with applications 


software and easy to use. Remote 

PowerBook 100, $2299 

networking software has superb 

PowerBook 140, $2899 

security features. 

PowerBook 170, $4599 



Battery life is shorter than that of 

Apple Computer, Inc. 

the Mac Portable, and remote 

20525 Mariani Ave. 

networking software's 2400-bps 

Cupertino, CA 95014 

transfer rate limits the size of print 


jobs or file copies. 

Circle 1230 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 253 



< Worse 

Better ► 




Mac SE/30 
Mac Classic II 
Mac Portable 




"2.2 1.4 

1.9 1.7 




1.6 1.1 1.2 

1.3 1.2 1.3 

1.6 | 

1.1 0.9 0.9 1.1 

0.8 0.6 ,--0.2 

; f§ 


Word Processing 

□ dtp □ 

□ , 

Database I I Development 


I I Application LJ S 


Scientific/Engineering L^J Spreadsheet 


A Worse Better ► I I < Worse Better ► I I 4 Worse Better ► I I 4 Worse Better ► 

PowerBook 170 
PowerBook 140 

Mac SE/30 
Mac Classic II 
Mac Portable 

Figure 1 : The PowerBooks range in performance from the low- 
end PowerBook 100 to the high-end PowerBook 1 70. Each 
approximates the performance of an older Mac model, from 
the Mac Portable-like PowerBook 100 to the Mac Ilci level of 
the PowerBook 170. 

All machines were tested running System 7.0.1 . 


Except for the Dhrystone test, all results are 

indexed. For each test, a Mac Classic II = 1 , and 

PowerBook 170 


higher numbers indicate faster performance. The 

PowerBook 140 


floating-point benchmarks use the SANE library. 

PowerBook 100 


• Comprehensive test results and detailed 

Mac SE/30 


configurations are available for all machines on 

Mac Classic II 



Mac Portable 


Test and Measurement 

I tested each of the three models for per- 
formance and battery life. Apple shipped 
the PowerBook 100 and PowerBook 1 40 
to BYTE with 4 MB of RAM and an op- 
tional fax/modem board. All three sys- 
tems got along well with my collection of 
applications, INITs, and the benchmark 
testing software. I had only one prob- 
lem—a crash with Suitcase II 1.2.11. 

Figure 1 shows the results of BYTE's 
performance tests. The PowerBook 100, 
with the heart of a Mac Portable, turned 
in Mac Portable performance, as ex- 
pected. Interestingly, the humble Classic 

II musters slightly more power than a 
PowerBook 100, but then it does pack a 
68030 CPU. The PowerBook 140 puts up 
more or less the same performance as an 
SE/30 or Ilex, although its lack of an 
FPU makes it slower at pure number 
crunching. The PowerBook 170 is basi- 
cally a notebook Mac Ilci, except for the 

slightly slower LCD screen. Both the 140 
and 170 models are candidates for porta- 
ble desktop computers. 

Sound reproduction on the higher-end 
systems with the EADSC doesn't quite 
match that of the Quadras, but it does of- 
fer better quality than current Mac II sys- 
tems. You'll notice an occasional pop or 
crackle when power-conservation soft- 
ware switches the sound circuitry off 
several seconds after the PowerBook 
plays a sound. 

I measured battery life both qualita- 
tively and with BYTE's new notebook 
battery tests. These are the same scripted 
tests we use to test DOS notebooks; they 
use the same testing rig and the same 
script (see "Measuring Speed and En- 
durance," page 218). I've ported the 
support software of these tests to the Mac 
to get battery-life estimates. 

Figure 2 shows the results. None of 
these systems lasts as long as the Mac 

Portable: It outlasted them by several 
hours. The times obtained are nearly 
double those of Apple's, but that's be- 
cause our tests are based on a 55 percent 
duty cycle (display backlight set to half 
its maximum intensity, with the note- 
book active about half the time and idle 
the rest), while Apple's estimates are 
based on continuous, heavy-duty activity 
with the backlight intensity set to maxi- 
mum. My experience indicates that bat- 
tery life can range from about 45 minutes 
(performing a download with display in- 
tensity at maximum and continuous disk 
I/O) to a little over 2 hours if you can run 
the application in memory alone. 

Based on these seat-of-the-pants ob- 
servations and our battery tests, Apple's 
estimates seem reasonable. Remember 
that the amount of charge and abuse the 
battery has taken can affect running time 
as well. This explains the shorter inter- 
vals I got with the Powerbooks, because I 

254 BYTE- MARCH 1992 

New QEMM-386 v6. 

4 tit's nothing less than a 
dream come true % J 

-Steve Gibson InfoWrM 8/26191 

Suddenly PC users have a 
lot of memory managers to 
choose from. Seems that 
everyone has figured out 
what users have been telling 
us for years: they need 
every last 'K' of available 
memory between 640K and 
1 megabyte— especially if they're 
running on a network. Or using TSRs. 

Our new QEMM-386 version 6 is the 
best way to get the most out of memory 
It 'pools 7 all your memory so that it's 
available in whatever 

There's no 

better way to 

manage your 




form your programs 
need— expanded or 
extended. You don't even need to know 
the difference. QEMM does it all for you. 
Instantly. Whereas DOS 5, for example, 
requires you to figure out what you need, 
then manually allocate memory and re- 
boot every time you need to change. 

As for the all-important 'conventional' 
memory area, our new version 6 increases 
the amount of memory f reed-up. Our 
exclusive 'optimize 7 feature automatically 
seeks out TSRs and device drivers and 
moves them into high memory— the area 
between 640K and 1 megabyte. All you 
have to do is type 

# 'optimize 7 . 

QEMM-386 v6 finds 
■F more high memory than 
^ any other memory mana- 
ger. Byte Magazines tests 
showed it produced net 
memory gains of 21K to 
JBSMWPK over DOS 5.0 alone, 


What you can expect 

Automatic High 
Memory Gain 

DOS 5 

DOS 3 or 4 DOS 5 

with QEMM-386 v6 

for instance. 

Stealth takes you to network 
and TSR heaven. 

Our breakthrough 'Stealth' technology 
makes available areas normally taken up 
by ROM. Areas that QEMM-386 can use 
to load memory-hogging drivers and 
TSRs. Big programs can get the memory 

they need to run fast and efficiently. 
And you get to have your TSRs. 
Not every PC can benefit from 
Stealth. But every PC can 
benefit from 'Squeeze'— our 
new feature to manage 
those TSRs that need more 
memory at start up and less 
when they're resident. 
Memory allocation is 
temporarily increased, then 
squeezed down after it's needed. 
QEMM can use idle 
video memory to produce 
OUyJF 1 a further 96K gain on EGA 
ORXf and VGA systems when 
running character-based 

A priceless $60 bonus. 

QEMM comes with Quarterdeck Manifest, 

the award-winning 

analysis program 

that makes it easy to 

see what's going on 

'under the hood' of 

your PC. 

Manifest does 
for memory what PC 
Tools Deluxe does for disks. 

Benefits for Windows, too. 

Whether you're running DOS 3, 4, 5, or 
Windows, QEMM can improve your 
386/486's performance. 

That means you may not need a faster 
CPU. You may not need more RAM. 
QEMM makes your favorite programs 
work better by giving them more memory 
to run in. 

QEMM helps you get the most out of 
the software you own today 

See and understand how 

your PC works with 



For orders only, call toll-free (800) 354-3222 7am-5pm PST. 
Quarterdeck Office Systems, 150 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 (310) 392-9851 Fax (310) 314-4219 

Quarterdeck International Ltd., B.I.M. House, Crofton Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland Tel. (353) (1 ) 288-1444 Fax: (353) (1) 2844380 

©1992 Qitarterdt-ck Office Systems. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. 

Circle 108 on Inquiry Card. 


Photo 2: The PowerBook 100, with an 
Envisio memory/video expansion board. 
Envisio *s Notebook Display Adapter 
is driving a second screen on the 
AppleColor 13-inch monitor in the 
background while providing an extra 
2 MB of RAM. 

used them constantly, never allowing the 
batteries to get a full charge. Also, the 
PowerBook 100 arrived with its battery 
completely discharged, which can dam- 
age the battery. This is why, despite its 
low-power components, the PowerBook 
100 conked out sooner than the 68030- 
based versions. 

Keep in Touch 

The PowerBook 170's communications 
device is a 9600-bps send-only fax/2400- 
bps data modem. A PowerBook with this 
option becomes a powerful tool for keep- 
ing in touch with the office and clients 
while on the road. You can send E-mail 
to those offices that use on-line services. 


PowerBook 170 
PowerBook 140 
PowerBook 100 

Mac Portable 

4 Worse 

Better ► 

! I I 


) \ 


l ( 



2 4 6 8 

Figure 2: Battery test results show 
that the new PowerBooks aren 't as 
long-lived as the old Mac Portable. 
However, the greatly reduced weight 
and better screen compensate for the 
shorter battery life. 

For those that don't, you can fax docu- 
ments to their fax machine. 

The Fax Sender software bundled with 
the Apple fax modem allows you to print 
a document loaded with tables, charts, 
artwork, and scanned images to a fax 
machine. It has two components: a back- 
ground imaging and transmittal applica- 
tion, and a Chooser-selectable driver. 
The application is analogous to the Print 

Monitor, the Mac's background 
printing software. 

To send a fax, you launch 
the application that created the 
^document, pick Fax Sender in the 
Chooser, and issue the Print command. 
Fax Sender is easy to use and works with 
documents that have a mix of different 
typefaces. With TrueType or ATM, 
fonts are imaged at high resolution, mak- 
ing for great output— certainly a good 
way to impress a customer. I sent Page- 
Maker 4.0 documents to the office fax 
while traveling, and I even faxed Post- 
Script drawings from Adobe Illustrator 
3.0.1 without problems. 

Apple also bundles AppleTalk con- 
nectivity software, called AppleTalk Re- 
mote Access, with each PowerBook. The 
package lets you connect via the Power- 
Book's modem to a desktop Mac running 
ARA and appear as a node on its net- 
work. You then use the Chooser to access 
file servers, printers, or E-mail pack- 

I set up my office Mac Hci with a 
Global Village Teleport modem and 
ARA. At home, I called in with ARA on 
a PowerBook and connected to BYTE's 
AppleTalk network. I was able to reach 
Macs running System 7.0 File Sharing, 
our Mac file server, and a PC server run- 
ning NetWare for Macintosh. I was able 
to copy small files and print short jobs 
with no trouble. But if you think Local- 
Talk's 230-Kbps rate is slow, a 2400-bps 
network connection will really try your 

A PowerBook in Your Future? 

If you use a GUI to keep your computing 
tasks sorted out, the Mac does it best, es- 
pecially for notebook computing. The 
PowerBook' s centrally located, built-in 
trackball favors neither hand and avoids 
the bolt-on headaches that plague most 
PC pointing devices. The integration of 
applications with the communications 
software has no equal. I expect PC note- 
books, which have already mimicked the 
Mac's GUI with Windows 3.0, to imitate 
many PowerBook features. I'd like bat- 
tery life to be longer, but for now, I'll 
carry plenty of spare batteries. 

With a fax/modem board installed, a 

Photo 3: The PowerBook 1 70 delivers 
Mac Hci performance. Both it and the 
PowerBook 140 have 32-Bit QuickDraw 
and support for virtual memory in their 
1 -MB ROMs. 

PowerBook provides several ways to 
keep in touch with the office or with cus- 
tomers. I've frequently plugged a Power- 
Book into a phone jack and made use of 
fax, terminal, and ARA in one sitting. 
All I had to do was point and click to use 
another service without rebooting. With 
software that supports sound, you can 
use the PowerBook 140 and 170's micro- 
phone to voice-annotate documents. 
With all the capabilities the PowerBook 
offers, the question becomes, Where can 
I get one? 

Don't let the PowerBook 100's mid- 
dling benchmark scores fool you into 
thinking this is a wimpy machine; it's 
not. I've used it (and a Mac Portable be- 
fore that) to telecommute and even to de- 
velop software with Symantec's Think C 
compiler. The PowerBook 100 makes a 
cost-effective "data bucket" for those 
who want to write reports or use a termi- 
nal program. 

If you need desktop power for complex 
reports, professional graphics, and big 
spreadsheets, consider the PowerBook 
140 and 170. I recommend the Power- 
Book 170, since it comes with a crisp 
screen, larger hard drive, more RAM, an 
FPU, and the fax/modem board as stan- 
dard equipment. And you'll enjoy its 25- 
MHz computing power on the road or at 
your desk. ■ 

Tom Thompson is a BYTE senior techni- 
cal editor at large. He has a B.S.E.E. 
from Memphis State University. Contact 
him on BIX as "tom_thompson" or on 
AppleLink as "T THOMPSON. " 

256 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


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WordPerfect for Windows 


WordPerfect for Windows is a mon- 
ster word processor. Like its chief 
rival, Microsoft Word for Win- 
dows, the program is packed with every 
conceivable feature short of higher-end 
desktop publishing tools. This program 
is a far cry from a text editor with a GUI 
slapped onto it. With its columnar text, 
formatting tools, and manipulation of 
graphics, WordPerfect for Windows can 
be used for many of the kinds of docu- 
ments that are generally done with soft- 
ware like PageMaker or Ventura Pub- 

Although an in-depth comparison with 
Microsoft Word for Windows is beyond 
the scope of this review, I have used both 
Word and WordPerfect and was struck 
more by their similarities than by their 
differences. Both are much easier to 
learn than their DOS counterparts. In the 
never-ending features battle, these pro- 
grams are approaching the saturation 
point, and it is difficult to differentiate 
them— it's much like comparing a Lin- 
coln and a Cadillac. 

With more than 200 menu options, 
WordPerfect for Windows incorporates 
all the functions that are found in today's 
WYSIWYG word processors, including 
basic column-layout capabilities, multi- 
ple fonts, macros, tables, indexing, and 
the ability to place and size graphics. 
The package also has an equations edi- 
tor, a spelling checker, a thesaurus, and 
a file manager/viewer (called the File 
Navigator) that makes it easy to find doc- 
uments (and also runs fast text searches). 
Being a good Windows program, the 
package takes advantage of the Clipboard 
and Dynamic Data Exchange, allowing 
you to establish "hot links" between 
other Windows documents (e.g., an Ex- 
cel or Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet) and 
WordPerfect documents. Unlike the lat- 
est Word for Windows or Ami Pro 2.0, 
the program does not yet take advantage 
of Object Linking and Embedding. 
WordPerfect says those protocols will be 
implemented in "a subsequent release," 
probably within a few months. 

This software demands high-perfor- 
mance hardware— nothing less than a 
386 with 4 MB of RAM (which the com- 
pany recommends) will do: While Word- 

The Button Bar on 
the left side and 
the ruler at the top 
let you access 
frequently used 
commands and 
procedures easily. 
The window for 
playing macros is 
opened on the 

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Perfect will run on a 286 PC with 2 MB 
of memory, the performance would be 
barely acceptable. Even on a 386, some 
operations— like scrolling down a half- 
page table— can seem sluggish. The full 
application occupies 9 MB of hard disk 
space, which, unfortunately, is becom- 
ing a common demand these days, but 
space-conscious users, like laptop own- 
ers, can choose to install a minimalist 
version (i.e., no macros, no file man- 
ager, no learning help, and no hyphen- 
ation) that takes up about 5 MB. 

CUA Menus or DOS Keys: 
Your Choice 

With this new GUI version, the company 
has managed to maintain the look and 
feel of the traditional text-based Word- 
Perfect while making it work like a Win- 
dows product. This challenge was com- 
plicated by the fact that the MS-DOS 
version of WordPerfect has traditionally 
relied on the IBM PC function keys, 
which have different functions running 
under Windows, as specified by the 
Common User Access (CUA) standard 
(developed by IBM and Microsoft as the 
standard keyboard and mouse interface 
for Windows and OS/2). 

WordPerfect addressed this problem 
by providing two keyboard interfaces: 
the traditional DOS keyboard interface 
and the Windows CUA interface. You 
can choose the one you prefer. The pro- 
gram comes with a function-key tem- 
plate that has the CUA key codes on one 
side and the standard DOS codes on the 
other. I found the CUA interface easier 
and recommend using that even if you're 
a veteran DOS WordPerfect user. Since 

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many keyboard operations are now easier 
to perform with the mouse, the transition 
to the CUA standard is not that difficult. 

Overall, the program's developers 
have succeeded in striking a balance be- 
tween WordPerfect and Windows. This 
program feels like a Windows product 
and behaves much like one, using the 
standard windowing system for cascad- 
ing multiple windows, minimizing and 
maximizing windows, and so forth. You 
can shrink a window to get it out of the 
way and then maximize it when you need 
to work in it again. 

On the other hand, the interface has 
changed considerably from the tradition- 
al DOS and Unix versions of Word- 
Perfect. WordPerfect for Windows takes 
excellent advantage of the graphical envi- 
ronment and the mouse, with features 
such as an on-screen ruler, a Button Bar, 
and easy cut and paste. Veteran Word- 
Perfect users will have to make some ad- 
justments, but for the most part, these 
are positive changes. The main thing is 
that WordPerfect has maintained com- 
plete file compatibility with other ver- 
sions of the product. 

Incompatible Macros 

Because of the CUA interface and the 
graphical environment, the company was 
forced to design a new macro language 
for its Windows version of WordPerfect. 
As with the keyboard interface, the DOS 
version of WordPerfect relies heavily on 
the function keys and Alt key for macro 

The program's new macro system in- 
cludes a BASIC-like programming lan- 
guage that has loops and conditional 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 257 


statements. Nevertheless, macros are 
easy to "record." There's a handy win- 
dow for calling up a list of all macros and 
another window for viewing the contents 
of macros. WordPerfect provides facili- 
ties for at least partial conversion of DOS 
WordPerfect macros. 

The Ruler and the Button Bar 

Like many graphical word processors, 
WordPerfect puts a ruler at the top of the 
screen for specifying elements that relate 
to the look of a document (e.g., margins, 
tabs, fonts, line spacing, and text justifi- 
cation). With the ruler, formatting com- 
mands involve just a mouse-click on an 
icon. The table tool is one of the sharpest 
parts of the ruler. It basically lets you 
construct a table by modifying a simple 
grid (e.g., dragging it by the corner to 
make it bigger). You can size and manip- 
ulate the table as you would a graphic or 
set it up by specifying, in a little dialog 
box, the number of horizontal and verti- 
cal rows. 

The company has also added a slick 
icon-based menu strip, called the Button 
Bar, where you can place commands, 
menu items, and macros that you use 

often and want to activate with a single 
click. This customizable feature is simi- 
lar to the Smart Icons in Ami Pro. You 
can set up a different bar for different 
types of documents. 

Portability a Big Plus 

If you work in a mixed environment, 
WordPerfect is probably the best choice 
for a word processor. It now runs in one 
version or another on Windows, DOS, 
and OS/2 machines; Macintoshes; Next 
computers; Sun Sparcstations; Silicon 
Graphics workstations; IBM RISC Sys- 
tem/6000s; PCs running SCO Unix 386 
or SCO Xenix; machines running under 
AT&T System V and VAX VMS; and its 
original target, Data General minicom- 
puters. Indeed, one of the most compel- 
ling features of WordPerfect is the porta- 
bility of files among all these platforms. 
For example, I tried opening a file 
using WordPerfect for Next: It opened up 
as if it were a native Next WordPerfect 
document. And WordPerfect for Win- 
dows on a 386-based PC opened a Next 
WordPerfect file without a hitch, includ- 
ing bit-mapped graphical images em- 
bedded in the document. While some of 



improvement. Bugs when working 


with graphics are troublesome. The 

WordPerfect for Windows is 

sheer size and number of features 

WordPerfect 5.1 adapted to the 

can be overwhelming. Performance 

Microsoft Windows 3.0 

is less than zippy on anything less 

environment. It's a graphical word 

than a 386. 

processor with desktop publishing 

capabilities such as fonts and 


graphics, columns, and tables; a 

WordPerfect is a solid product 

macro language; and a Button Bar. 

backed by a solid company; it's 

particularly attractive if you use 


other computer systems running 

This is a good implementation of 

WordPerfect. Highly 

the Windows environment, yet it 


preserves file compatibility with 

other versions of WordPerfect. It 


provides virtually every feature 

$495; upgrade, $99; additional 

you would want short of full-scale 

site licenses, $349 with 

desktop publishing. Setting up 

documentation, $295 without 

document formats and tabular 

material is particularly easy. This 


package will nix the rap that 

WordPerfect Corp. 

WordPerfect is difficult to learn 

1555 North Technology Way 

and use. 

Orem, UT 84057 




Minor annoyances such as the File 

Open function and minimized 

Circle 1 105 on Inquiry Card. 

window function need 

these platforms do not support the latest 
version of WordPerfect, at least the docu- 
ment structure is the same, providing a 
basic level of portability. 

Weirdnesses and Weaknesses 

I ran into a few minor problems with the 
product. In particular, the File Open 
function does not provide a simple meth- 
od of listing available directories. You 
have to type in C:\*.* to see the root- 
level list of directories. Another annoy- 
ance is the disappearance of minimized 
windows (i.e. , windows that you collapse 
to an icon). I could always find these 
minimized files, but on several occa- 
sions, it took more doing than should 
have been necessary. The problem is that 
the minimized icons don't always remain 
on the screen. Trying to launch a mini- 
mized file sometimes resulted in an un- 
explained "application error." Other 
users have reported the usual mysterious 
Windows crashes but said these incidents 
inexplicably dwindled the longer they 
used the program. 

Some users have found inconsistency 
with "WYSIWYG" between the screen 
and the printer. Although inconsistency 
was sometimes the case when in regular 
mode— for example, the space between 
type and graphics could be misleading— 
the print-preview mode appeared accu- 
rate. I printed to a PostScript file in my 
tests and found no problems with output. 
The product includes some 900 printer 
drivers and can also use the Windows 
printer drivers, which should be plenty 
for most people. 

There are some bugs that creep in 
when you're working with a page that has 
an image on it. For example, the pro- 
gram sometimes redraws the graphic in- 
correctly; after you save the file, how- 
ever, it looks OK. 

But these are fairly minor complaints; 
WordPerfect says it will fix them in a 
maintenance release. Despite the bugs, 
WordPerfect for Windows is a solid 
product. It improves on the DOS version 
in so many ways that users of that edition 
will be tempted to move to Windows just 
to run the new WordPerfect. And it's so 
much easier to use; the Windows version 
won't suffer from the rap that Word- 
Perfect is too hard to learn. It's been a 
long time coming, but WordPerfect for 
Windows was worth the wait. ■ 

Nicholas Baran, a longtime WordPerfect 
user, is a consulting editor for BYTE and 
co-editor of Pen-Based Computing, an 
industry newsletter based in Sandpoint, 
Idaho. You can reach him on BIX as 
"nickbaran. " 

258 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


Telebit Modem 
QBIazes Through 
On-Line Space 

The Telebit QBlazer modem is small 
(less than 2Vi inches on a side), but 
it holds big capabilities: portable 
connectivity of up to 38,400 bps. The 
QBlazer, which will run off a 9-volt 
battery for about 2 hours, is designed 
primarily for on-line communications 
between high-capacity systems and por- 
table personal computers. The high per- 
formance for asynchronous stream com- 
munications makes it ideal for serial line 
Internet Protocol network connections. 

You won't find the built-in file trans- 
fer protocols of the Telebit TrailBlazer 
Series— PEP (Packetized Ensemble Pro- 
tocol), XMODEM and YMODEM, Ker- 
mit, and UUCP— but you will find V.32 
and MNP levels 1 , 2, 3 , and 4 for error- 
corrected data connections. Plus, you get 
both MNP level 5 and V.42bis data com- 
pression for effective data transfer of up 
to 38,400 bps. 

The QBlazer can store two entire con- 
figurations of the nearly 50 registers as 
well as two phone numbers in nonvolatile 
memory. The modem supports all stan- 
dard specifications from 300 bps (Bell 
103 J) through 9600 bps (CCITT V.32). 
The modem command language is a 
superset of the standard "AT" com- 
mands, so you can easily use it with all 
the common personal computer commu- 
nications programs. 

For $745, you get the modem, cables, 
manuals, external power supply, a travel 
pouch, and the communications and file 
transfer program MTEZ (from Magic- 
Soft). Small, maybe even cute, the Tele- 
bit QBlazer opens up a huge world of in- 
teractive computing to users of portable 

Stacker 2.0 Squeezes 
Out More Space 

When a BYTE Lab editor needed to 
free up some space on his Toshiba 
T2000SX's hard disk, we decided 
to give a couple of on-the-f ly compres- 
sion programs a shot. We learned that not 
all compression programs are created 
equal. But we did get the results we 
wanted when we tried Stac Electronics' 
Stacker 2.0. 

The 30-KB program installed grace- 
fully and automatically, and a few min- 
utes later, we turned the T2000SX's 20- 
MB hard drive into a defragmented 
virtual 40-MB drive that not only sur- 
vived 386 enhanced-mode Windows but 
every nasty application we could throw at 
it. We installed Stacker again after up- 
grading the T2000SX to a 60-MB drive, 
with similar results. It has been stable 
now for a lengthy period of constant use. 
Stacker 2.0 is marvelous: very fast, easy 
to use, and completely transparent. We 
recommend it. 

SofftNode: A Different 
Kind of NetWare 
for Macintosh 

With Insignia Solutions' PC emula- 
tors— SoftPC and SoftAT— Mac- 
intoshes can run DOS programs. 
Insignia's new Sof tNode makes the emu- 
lated PC or AT a genuine NetWare client. 
Macs can then access a NetWare file sys- 
tem shared with DOS PCs. 

Of course, you already have that capa- 
bility if your environment includes PCs, 
Macs, and Novell's NetWare for Macin- 
tosh. But Sof tNode gives Macs extra ca- 
pability: They can run networked DOS 
applications and communicate directly 
with NetWare servers and clients over 
Novell's IPX transport. The product in- 
cludes Open Data Link Interface (ODI) 
drivers for EtherTalk and AppleTalk, an 
IPX gateway/router, and a DOS 3.3 Net- 
Ware shell. 

We tested Sof tNode on a Mac Quadra 
900 and a Mac Ilci, both connected di- 
rectly to an Ethernet-based NetWare 
LAN. Since we had a direct Ethernet 
connection, we needed only to drag a few 
files into the Insignia folder on the Mac, 
launch SoftAT, and run a DOS batch file 
that loads NetWare. 

If you already have an Ethernet/Local- 

Talk router (at BYTE we're running 
Cayman Systems' GatorBox), the Soft- 
Node router only needs to exchange 
packets at the AppleTalk/IPX level. Or 
Sof tNode can manage both Ethernet/Lo- 
calTalk and IPX/AppleTalk routing. 
Either way, you'll need a gateway Mac 
that connects to the Ethernet and Local- 
Talk networks concurrently. 

Insignia's NetWare implementation 
does everything by the book. The ODI- 
based IPX transport layer has performed 
flawlessly, so DOS programs that talk 
directly to IPX, such as Eicon Technol- 
ogy's Access/X.25, have run without a 
hitch. We ran the DOS version of a net- 
worked FoxPro 2.0 application, but the 
speedy Quadra became a slow AT in the 

Clearly, the SoftAT/SoftNode combi- 
nation isn't well suited to compute-inten- 
sive tasks. But if you've got a client/ 
server application that's glued to DOS 
and IPX, and you need to have it materi- 
alize on a Mac, SoftNode looks like the 
right magic bullet. 

-The BYTE Lab 

Reviewer 's Notebook provides new infor- 
mation—including version updates, new 
test data, long-term usage reports, and 
reader feedback— on products and prod- 
uct categories. 


QBlazer $745 

Telebit Corp. 

1315 Chesapeake Ter. 

Sunnyvale, CA 94089 

(800) 835-3248 

(408) 734-4333 

fax: (408) 734-3333 

Circle 1227 on Inquiry Card. 

SoftNode $175 

Insignia Solutions, Inc. 
526 Clyde Ave. 
Mountain View, CA 94043 
(415) 694-7600 
Circle 1228 on Inquiry Card. 

Stacker 2.0 $149 

Stac Electronics 

5993 Avenida Encinas 

Carlsbad, CA 92008 

(800) 522-7822 



Circle 1229 on Inquiry Card. 

MARCH 1992 'BYTE 259 


If your LCD projection panel 
doesn't perform as well as you do, 
you're the one that ends up looking 
foolish. That's why we gave the 
MagnaByte® 6001 true color satura- 
tion and outstanding image clarity. 
And we made it so easy to set up 
and use, virtually anyone can give a 
professional, glitch-free presentation. 

With the lightweight MagnaByte 
6001, whatever appears on the 
computer screen is projected in 
thousands of crisp, rich colors 

through an overhead projector. And 
you can still use your mouse or key 
commands to manipulate graphics, 
call up different screens or type in 
new text All in brilliant 640 x 480 

Seeing is believing. Ask your 
AV dealer for a comparative demon- 
stration. For the Telex dealer nearest 
you, call 1-800-828-6107. 

Because if you can't show it as 
well as you know it, your presentation 
isn't the only thing that will suffer. 

The MagnaByte® 6001 

Compatibility. IBM and IBM-compatibles 
with VGA output; Macintosh H and IX. 

©1991 Telex Communications, Inc. 

Circle 128 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 129). 



Tapping into Sockets 

The Berkeley Standard Distribution Unix model 
for interprocess communications is known as 
"sockets/ 1 A socket is a general-purpose IPC 
mechanism useful for both stand-alone and 
networked applications, in BSD Unix, sockets 
are part of the kernel and are accessible by way of sys- 
tem calls. Non-BSD Unix systems provide sockets in 
the form of libraries— as do other operating systems, 
including MS-DOS, Mac OS, and OS/2. You can use 
sockets to distribute a single source code client/server 
application throughout a population of machines run- 
ning any of these operating systems, so long as each 
runs the requisite IP substrate. 

If you can carve up an application into processes that 
run on separate computers, you get the most mileage 
out of the special capabilities of each computer. One 
computer, a file server, might control an array of high- 
capacity drives, applying most of its computing power 
to the efficient management of all this storage. Another 
machine, the compute server, may hit its stride when 
performing complex calculations. Still others— work- 
stations and personal computers— may serve best as 
user-interface engines running Microsoft Windows, 
MultiFinder, or the X Window System. 

Harnessed to a network, this collection of computers 
works most efficiently when you can assign the right 
kind of work to each kind of machine: disk I/O to the 
file server, number crunching to the compute server, 
and user interfaces to the display servers. To achieve 

that distribution of labor, the 
processes on each of these 
machines must be able to 
communicate with the appro- 
priate processes on the other 
machines. That's where sock- 
ets come in. 

Here's how to build 
a portable client/server 
application for 
TCP/IP networks 

Anatomy of a Socket 

The sockets model generalizes the standard I/O func- 
tions that you find in common C language libraries: 
open(), read(), write(), and close (). It augments 
these functions with data structures and methods that 
enable these I/O functions to pass data through network 
connections. The characteristics of a socket are deter- 
mined by the following: 

• the domain in which the socket operates, 

• the name structure to which the socket is 
(optionally) bound, 

• the socket type, and 

• the socket protocol. 

On BSD Unix systems, the most common domain is 
called simply "Unix" and typically governs the IPCs 
conducted among processes running on a single system. 
In that domain, sockets are used for, among other 
things, the pipes that connect the flow of data from the 
standard output of one process to the standard input of 


MARCH 1992 • BYTE 261 


another. In this installment of Some As- 
sembly Required, we focus instead on 
the Internet domain that governs IPCs 
that travel through networks. 

What about that "optional name struc- 
ture" mentioned above? When you pro- 
gram with ordinary files, the open() 
call requires as an argument the name of 
a file. But when you create a socket using 
the socket ( ) call, you specify the sock- 
et domain, the socket type, and the pro- 
tocol; there is no filename or path. There 
is only a socket number (returned by the 
function call) that identifies the socket 
within your application. To export the 
socket for use outside your program, 
you've got to do some public relations; 
the socket needs an identity. 

In the BSD Unix domain, this identi- 
ty—little more than a name for a special 
file— enables your program to communi- 
cate with other processes running on the 
same system. In the Internet domain, 
however, the socket needs a more com- 
plex identity. The structure of this identi- 
ty is defined in <netinet/ in.h> and in- 
cludes a port number and the Internet 
address (netid/hostid) of the machine 
running the process that is opening the 

Port numbers define entry points for 
services provided by server applications. 
The server part of a client/server appli- 
cation associates the service it offers with 
what is called a "well-known" port num- 
ber. On Unix systems, port numbers of 
commonly used well-known services are 
listed in /etc /services. Avoid these 
numbers unless you want to either use or 
provide one of the services. 

The Internet address is a 4-byte (32- 
bit) number. This number is usually 
written as four separate decimal num- 
bers delimited by dots; for example, The Internet address is often 
associated with a host ID name; the file 
/etc /hosts contains the address-to- 
name mapping. You can call gethost- 
byname() to inquire about a system by 
name, or inet_addr( ) to ask about it by 

Types and Protocols 

In IP terminology, the basic unit of data 
transfer is a datagram— which is basical- 
ly a header followed by some data. Data- 
grams are an "unreliable and connec- 
tionless" delivery system. But this 
doesn't mean that they are a useless de- 
livery system; it simply means that it is 
not the responsibility of the Internet to 
confirm that datagrams are delivered. 
Programs that use IP must do this for 
themselves, or at least there must be a 
higher-level protocol (e.g., TCP) that 















accept{ ) 


Blocks until connection 

socket( ) 

from client 



connect( ) 






write( ) 



Process r< 




write( ) 

Data (reply) 

read( ) 

The typical flow of events for a 
connection-oriented transfer using 
sockets. (Figure courtesy of Unix 
Network Programming by W. Richard 
Stevens, Prentice-Hall 1990.) 

provides the service of reliability. 

A socket that works only at the data- 
gram level is called a datagram socket. A 
stream socket, on the other hand, re- 
quires a reliable connection. Once a con- 
nection has been established with a 
stream socket, the data appears to flow 
as a constant stream from one point to 
another. This is called a connection-ori- 
ented protocol. The examples we'll pre- 
sent in this article use stream sockets. 

Another type of socket is the se- 
quenced packet socket, which belongs to 
the XNS (Xerox Network Services) do- 
main. Still another type, which has the 
most attractive name of all, is the Reli- 
ably Delivered Message socket. A fifth 
type is the raw socket, used by special, 
privileged programs to access very low- 
level protocols. For our purposes here, 
though, we'll focus just on the stream 
socket and its application in the develop- 
ment of client/server applications. Mas- 
ter this, and the rest will be easy. 

The Client/Server Connection 

TCP/IP stream sockets enable a client 
program (or process, if you prefer) to 
communicate with a server program. In 
the client/server model, the server offers 
some "service" that clients can use. A 
database server, for example, handles re- 
quests from database clients. With such 
an architecture, several users running 
the client application can simultaneously 
add, modify, and retrieve records, while 
a single process can reliably control ac- 
cess and locking. 

If the server is located on one machine 
and the clients are on others, there must 
be some way for the clients and servers to 
communicate and pass data back and 
forth. With sockets, the server's first 
task is to set up a port through which cli- 
ents can communicate. Once the server 
has established a port (or ports) and is 
open for business, it waits for customers 
to serve. When a client comes to a port 
(i.e., connects a socket to the port), then 
the actual client/server business gets un- 
der way. 

The figure shows the typical sequence 
of events for a client/server application 
that uses sockets. We will look at the 
skeleton of such an application, adapted 
from a set of programs developed by the 
BYTE Lab to test high-end file servers 
(see "File Servers Face Off," February 
BYTE). Listings 1 through 5 present the 
essence of these programs, the socket 
foundation for any client/server appli- 

Naturally, we need a server program 
with which to communicate. Following 
an example in the book UNIX Program 
Design and Development for IBM PCs by 
Tom Yager (Addison- Wesley, 1991), we 
collected all the socket initialization 
functions in a utility function, create- 
ServiceQ (see listing 1). This function 
takes the port number we wish to use 
(13760 in our case) and returns a socket 
number (or a negative number if it fails). 

Note that all the initialization steps 
take place in this function, including 
socket(), which creates the socket; 
bind(), which binds the new socket to 
the name/address structure; and lis- 
ten(), which specifies that the socket 
will be used as a server. If successful, 
the server program now "owns" this 
port, and no other programs can connect 
to it for the purpose of creating a server. 
But the port is not actually open for busi- 
ness until the server program calls ac- 
cept (). 

Once the socket has been initialized, 
the server program can then handle a cli- 
ent connection (see listing 2). The ac- 
cept () function 0bes not return until 

262 BYTE- MARCH 1992 


Listing V.A simple version o/createService. First we 
created the address structure. Then we called the 
socket ( ) function to create a TCP socket resource. The 
bind( ) function associates the socket resource with the 
port number and the host Internet address in the address 
structure. Once this is complete, the server then states 
its intention to listen ( ) on that particular socket for 
communication from clients. 

int createService( ushort port ) 


struct sockaddr_in serverSockAddr; 
int serverSocket; 

/* clear and set name/address structure */ 

bzero( SserverSockAddr, sizeof( serverSockAddr )); 

/* Convert port number to network byte order. */ 

serverSockAddr.sin_port = htons( port ); 

serverSockAddr. sin_family = AF_INET; 

/* Allow connections from all clients. */ 

serverSockAddr. sin_addr.s_addr = htonl( INADDR_ANY ); 

/* Create TCP socket. */ 

serverSocket = socket( AF.INET, SOCK_STREAM, ); 

/* Bind socket to port and client-address range. */ 
bind( serverSocket, SserverSockAddr, 
sizeof( serverSockAddr )); 

/* Set up a queue for up to five connection requests. */ 
listen( serverSocket, 5 ); 

return serverSocket; 
} /* createService */ 

Listing 2: The server (parent) process. 

/* Define a port on which to listen. */ 
# define Port (ushort) 13760 

main( void ) 


struct sockaddr_in clientSockAddr; 

.int serverSocket; 

int clientSocket; 

int addrLen; 

int pid; 

short result = 0; /* assume success */ 
Boolean done; 

/* Create a new socket and init TCP service on selected 
port. */ 
serverSocket = createService( Port ) ; 

addrLen = sizeof( clientSockAddr ); 

/* Loop while looking for client connection requests. */ 

while( 1 ) 


/* The following call blocks until a client wants to 

connect. */ 
clientSocket = accept( serverSocket, SclientSockAddr, 

&addrLen ); 

pid = fork( ); 

if( == pid ) 


/* the code for the child server goes here. */ 

close( clientSocket ); 
} /* while */ 

return result; 

} /* main */ 

a client communicates with the server. 
This function then returns with a new 
socket value, which is used for all fur- 
ther communications with the newly con- 
nected client task. The well-known sock- 
et only serves to establish the initial 
hookup between the two processes. A 
socket arbitrator then moves the conver- 
sation to another socket number— one 
that it picks. 

Parent and Child 

There are now two sockets. One is bound 
to the well-known port and was used to 
establish the initial connection. It is now 
free to listen for further clients wanting 
to communicate. The second socket is 
connected to the client that has just be- 
gun communicating. 

We don't want to have an accept () 
block the business that is going on with 
the established socket connection, so we 
should take advantage of the fact that we 
are running in a multitasking operating 
system and split the server into two sepa- 
rate processes. The original process will 

continue looking for new clients, and the 
spawned process will handle requests 
pertaining to the recently established 
client/server connection. 

We achieve this by executing a fork ( ) 
function, which starts a second copy of 
the program. At this point, there are two 
programs executing the same code, but 
we want them to exhibit different behav- 


'tream sockets 
are not the only kind 
of sockets that you 
might want to use 
across a network. 

ior. Both programs are at the same point 
in execution; they've just returned from a 

A process can determine whether it is 
a parent or a child by examining the pro- 
cess identifier (called the pid) returned 
by the fork() function. If the pid is 0, 
then the process is the child and can go 
ahead with its business. First, though, it 
should do some cleanup by closing the 
original socket, which it no longer needs 
(see listing 3). 

However, the original server process 
(i.e. , the parent) needs to continue listen- 
ing on the well-known socket for other 
clients that wish to communicate, and 
therefore it should loop back to ac- 
cept(). This is the purpose of the 
while (1) loop in listing 2. 

When the server receives a command 
to terminate, it should call shutdown () 
and then close() (see listing 3). The 
shutdown () function takes as param- 
eters the socket to be shut down and a 
second, numeric, value. This value may 
be 0, 1 , or 2 and determines how much of 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 263 


Listing 3: The child-server code, ready to provide services. 

if( == pid ) 


close( serverSocket ); /* child doesn't need original . 

socket */ 
done = FALSE; 

while ( Idone ) 


^define MaxBufLen 256 
ushort bufLen = MaxBufLen; 
ushort opcode; 
char buf f er[MaxBuf Len] ; 

readShort( clientSocket, &opcode ); 
switch( opcode ) 


/* some case statements for services */ 

shutdown( clientSocket, 2 
close( clientSocket ); 

Listing 4: A simple version o/ connectToServer, used 
by the client to open a connection with a server. 

int connectToServer( char *serverName, ushort port ) 


struct sockaddr_in serverSockAddr; 

struct hostent *serverHostEnt; 

int toServerSocket; 

ulong hostAddr; 

short result = (-1); /* assume failure */ 

/* Clear and set server address structure. */ 

bzero( SserverSockAddr, sizeof( serverSockAddr )); 

hostAddr = inet_addr( serverName ) ; 

if( (long)hostAddr != (long)(-l)) 

{ /* we've got an address */ 

bcopy( ShostAddr, &serverSockAddr.sin_addr, 

sizeof( hostAddr )); 
} else 

{ /* Ask host database/ name server for host entry. */ 
serverHostEnt = gethostbyname( serverName ); 
if( NULL == serverHostEnt ) 


fprintf( stderr, "Can't locate host \ M S8s\"\n", serverName ); 
goto egress; 


/* Copy address from host entry to socket structure. */ 
bcopy( serverHostEnt->h_addr, &serverSockAddr.sin_addr, 
serverHostEnt->h_length ) ; 


serverSockAddr. sin_family = AF_INET; 
serverSockAddr. sin_port = htons( port ); 

/* Create a socket. */ 

toServerSocket = socket( AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0); 

connect( toServerSocket, SserverSockAddr, 

sizeof ( serverSockAddr) ) ; 

result = toServerSocket; 


return result; 
} /* connectToServer */ 

Listing 5: The client process. 

^define Port (ushort) 13760 /* that widely known socket port 
number */ 

void main( void ) 


int toServerSocket = -1; 

/* Try to connect to a server. */ 

toServerSocket = connectToServer( svrName, Port ); 

/* Communicate with server */ 

/* When done, tell server to terminate process. */ 

if( toServerSocket >= ) 


shutdown( toServerSocket, 2 
close ( toServerSocket ); 

return result; 
} /* main */ 

the network communication to termi- 
nate. If the value is 0, then further re- 
ceives are disallowed. If the value is 1, 
further transmission is disallowed. If the 
value is 2, both sends and receives are 
disallowed. In our case, since we are 
done with all communication, we select 
2. Once all sends and receives are shut 
down, close () needs to be called to re- 
lease any system resources the socket 
may have required. 

Now that we've got a server, we need 
to create a client that can use its services. 
The client program in listings 4 and 5 is 
simpler than the server. As with create- 

Service() for the server, we gathered 
the initialization routines into a single 
function, connectToServer, which 
takes the server's host name or address 
and a port number and returns a socket 
value that is used for further communi- 

The only tricky part of connectTo- 
Server ( ) is that you need to be able to 
locate the machine on which the server is 
running. As with ordinary file I/O, you 
then use write and read functions to ex- 
change data with the server. When the 
client is ready to end the session, it calls 
shutdown( ) and close ( ) . 

Socket to 'Em 

The full programs from which we drew 
these examples are available in electronic 
format (see page 5 for details). We devel- 
oped the test programs under MS-DOS 
5.0 using the PC/TCP Development Kit 
from FTP Software and Microsoft C 
6.00a. We then ported the programs to 
SCO Unix System V without a single 
code change. 

The client operates under both DOS 
and Unix. The server program will not 
execute under DOS, since DOS is not a 
multitasking environment. However, you 
could build a single-task server under 

264 B YTE • MARCH 1992 

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nee we have a 
server, we need to 
create a client that 
can use its services. 

DOS and communicate to it from another 

Stream sockets are not the only kind of 
sockets that you might want to use across 
a network. And sockets are not the only 
way to handle IPCs across a network. 
There are other IPCs for other networks, 
but sockets are the most widely imple- 
mented ones. , 

The sockets mechanism was initially 
introduced in BSD 4.2 Unix in 1981. 
That implementation provided sockets as 
system function calls; in other words, 
sockets were built into the BSD kernel. 
Unix System V release 4.0 employs the 
streams mechanism for hooking external 
drivers to the kernel; thus, SVR4 sockets 
are implemented in terms of streams. 

What is impressive is that the same 
source code that we have provided here 
can be compiled with little or no modifi- 
cation on any of these disparate systems 
and implementations, and the sockets 
work across these different worlds. This 
is an illustration of reliable IPCs in a 
truly heterogeneous computing environ- 
ment. ■ 


We wish to thank Tom Yager for all his help 
and also chapter 5 of his book UNIX 
Program Design and Development for IBM 
PCs (Addison-Wesley, 1991), which gave us 
a jump-start into the world of TCP/IP 

Raymond G A Cote, a testing editor for 
the BYTE Lab, is a certified Macintosh 
developer. You can contact him on BIX as 
"rgacote. " Ben Smith is a BYTE techni- 
cal editor and author of the book UNIX 
Step-by-Step (Howard W. Sams, 1990). 
You can contact him on the Internet as 
"" or on BIX as 
"bensmith. " 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

266 BYTE • MARCH 1992 

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K L I E W E R 

Enhancing Laser- 
Printer Resolution 

The hottest laser battle going has nothing to do 
with the world of science fiction. But you could 
still say that it's in the realm of special effects. 
How can you make the eye see smoother lines 
and better halftones? Laser-printer manufac- 
turers are tuning their engines so that they can produce 
pages with effective resolutions beyond the familiar 
300-dot-per-inch limits. I'll look at some of the tech- 
niques that companies like Apple, DP-Tek, Hewlett- 
Packard, LaserMaster Technologies, and XLI use to 
achieve these effects. 

There are two general approaches to resolution en- 
hancement: edge smoothing and gray-scale enhance- 
ment. The former approach includes Apple's Fine- 
Print, DP-Tek's Super Smoothing Technology (SST), 
HP's Resolution Enhancement Technology (RET), and 
LaserMaster's TurboRes. Gray-scale enhancements 
include Apple's PhotoGrade, DP-Tek's LaserPort 
Grayscale controller, and XLI's Super LGA. 

For most people, laser printers are synonymous with 
quality and precision. Relative to what a dot-matrix 
printer can do, a laser printer produces amazingly 
sharp, consistent output. But, if you look closely, you 
can still see the jagged edges along sloped lines and 
curves. If you magnify the pixels, you will see that they 
are not perfectly round. You may also see stray specks 
of toner around the edges and between pixels. These 
imperfections are a consequence of the indirect nature 
of laser printing. 

The direct imaging process 
that phototypesetters use ex- 
poses light-sensitive paper, or 
film, to a light source such as 
a laser. Responding to small 
variations in the light inten- 
sity, this process produces 
images that are extremely 
sharp. Resolution is typically 
from 1200 to 2400 dpi. 

Laser printers, by contrast, 
use an indirect process. The 
laser exposes a light-sensitive 

Thanks to an 
assortment of clever 
techniques, standard 
laser printers are 
producing sharper 
vector graphics and more 
photo-realistic images 

print drum and creates an 

electrically charged image on the drum's surface. 
Toner particles receive an opposite charge, so they are 
attracted to the image that the laser forms. The printer 
engine then transfers the image to a piece of paper and 
fixes it in place by heat fusion. 

Basic Theory of Resolution Enhancement 

How can this process be tweaked to boost resolution? 
Within limits, you can reliably modulate the laser at a 
higher clock rate than the default for a 300-dpi printer, 
thereby boosting the horizontal resolution beyond 300 
dpi. The higher horizontal resolution improves the 
shape of nearly vertical edges but does little for those 
that are nearly horizontal. Most laser printers conve- 
niently provide a video I/O port through which an 


MARCH 1992 • BYTE 269 


external controller card can directly reg- 
ulate the laser modulation. 

Vertical resolution is a different kettle 
of fish. It's controlled by the interaction 
between the drum and a rotating mirror, 
which creates the scan lines. In a typical 
laser-printer engine, there are 300 scan 
lines for every inch of travel; therefore, 

the vertical resolution is fixed at 300 
lines per inch (400- and 600-lpi engines 
are also available). Theoretically, you 
could make mechanical alterations to 
existing printers to control vertical reso- 
lution. However, the complications and 
expense of such modifications make this 
approach impractical. Instead, strategies 


Energy threshold for toner adhesion 


Short pulses reduce laser energy below threshold 


Lower energy combines with "fringe" from previous scan line 

Figure 1 : A weak pulse of laser light on the upper scan line combines with fringe 
energy delivered to the lower scan line to fatten the line. The upper part of the 
diagram shows an ideal situation in which the two scan lines do not interact; the 
lower part shows the actual, combined effect. (Courtesy of LaserMaster 

Listing 1: Simulating vertical resolution enhancement on a PC L printer. 



[Esc]*bl6WUUUU[255] [255] [255] [255] [Esc]*bl6W[255] [255] [255] [255] [255] [255] [255] [255] 




for enhancing vertical resolution exploit 
quirks of the printing process. 

At the fringes of the laser's beam, the 
intensity drops off, much like a flash- 
light's beam, which has a bright center 
spot surrounded by a dimmer halo. The 
region of the drum under this fringe area 
doesn't receive enough energy to make 
the toner stick to the drum. However, if 
you augment the fringe area's charge 
with a brief pulse of laser light on a pre- 
ceding or following scan line— a pulse 
too weak to form an image in the fringe 
area— you can push a portion of the target 
line's fringe area over the adhesion 
threshold. By compensating for fringe 
energy from neighboring lines and con- 
trolling the duration of the laser burst, 
the printer can create a line or dot of arbi- 
trary vertical thickness (see figure 1). 
You can simulate this vertical resolution 
enhancement effect on an HP Printer 
Control Language-compatible laser 
printer by sending the printer the se- 
quence of PCL code shown in listing 1 . 

Note that the addressable resolution is 
still limited to the frame buffer's size; 
for example, consider the 1000- (hori- 
zontal) by 400-dpi (vertical) frame buf- 
fer implemented in the LaserMaster con- 
troller. You could not plot 500 distinct 
horizontal lines at an effective resolution 
of 1000 dpi. But you can create lines of 
arbitrary thickness and therefore have a 
higher effective vertical resolution along 
the edge. By gradually tapering the line 
thickness while moving horizontally, 
you can form an edge with steps of finer 
granularity than that of the frame buffer. 
The effective resolving power can be 
nearly continuous, limited more by other 
factors (e.g., toner particle size) than by 
laser-modulation rates. 

DP-Tek takes a different tack with its 
TrueRes technology. TrueRes doubles 
both the horizontal and vertical resolu- 
tion and gives you access to each pixel 
through a 600- by 600-dpi frame buffer. 

Make Way for Gray 

Because a laser printer can print only 
black or white, gray areas in images 
(e.g., photographs) must be approximat- 
ed with patterns of black and white. 
Laser-printer enhancement technology 
uses two approaches. The first tech- 
nique, exemplified by DP-Tek's Laser- 
Port Grayscale controller, modulates the 
laser to produce an even spray of toner 
over an area. The density of the toner de- 
termines the gray level. The resulting 
images resemble photographs and are 
particularly well suited to direct produc- 
tion of photo-realistic images. However, 
the detail is too fine for reproduction on 

270 BYTE- MARCH 1992 




4 Figure 2: Pixel doubling makes the 
edges of this dithered halftone cell stand 

Figure 3: Both horizontal and vertical 
resolution enhancement benefit the 
precision with which a halftone dot can 
be formed. The figure shows (a) an ideal 
halftone dot, (b) a halftone dot emulated 
at 300 dpi, (c) a halftone dot improved 
with horizontal resolution enhancement, 
and (d) a halftone dot improved with 
both vertical and horizontal resolution 





c) d) 

.... w\r 




an offset printing press. 

The other technique is called halfton- 
ing. When you output a bit map to a PCL 
printer, the application typically creates 
dithered halftone cells that behave like 
metapixels. Within each cell, the num- 
ber of pixels that are on (black) or off 
(white) determines the gray level of the 
cell (see figure 2). There will be n 2 +\ 
gray levels, where n is the number of 
pixels along one side. As you increase the 
gray levels, you get a more realistic se- 
lection of gray shades, but you lose reso- 
lution. This resolution, the number of 
halftone cells per inch, is called the line 
screen. It is measured in lines per inch. 

If you are reproducing your work on a 
printing press, it is important to select 
the appropriate line screen; for example, 
in a newspaper, 65 to 85 lpi is fairly stan- 
dard. Other presses used for magazines 
and corporate brochures print at screen 
resolutions of from 1 33 to 200 lpi. 

PostScript printers cluster pixels in a 
cell to emulate a halftone dot. Figure 3a 
shows a cell with a 50 percent halftone 
dot, and figure 3b shows one possible 
emulation of that pattern at 300 dpi. You 
can alter the cell's fill pattern to change 
the effect, or you can rotate to change the 
screen angle. 

Complexities of the Halftone Process 

The task of producing good halftone out- 
put is fraught with complications. What 
prints well on a laser printer may not re- 
produce so nicely on an offset press. The 
number of pixels in a halftone cell — 
whether evenly dithered or dot-clus- 
tered—determines the gray level. Given 
a specific line screen (60 lpi) and the 
printer's resolution (300 dpi), you can 

calculate the size of the halftone cell— in 
this case, 5 by 5 pixels. A 50 percent gray 
level would fill half of these cells (i.e., 

But which 13 cells should be filled? 
With straight dithering, the resulting 
gray level will have a fairly even tone, yet 
a cell may exhibit artifacts. In figure 1 , 
for example, the edges of the cell stand 
out because the pixels meet. This prob- 
lem could be solved by moving to an 
even-numbered cell size (e.g., a 4- by 4- 
pixel cell, or a 75-lpi screen). But this 
approach introduces yet another prob- 
lem. When printed on an offset press, the 
cell behaves like a 212-lpi screen— the al- 


Figure 4: The unusual shape of Apple 's 
Photo Grade halftone cell lends itself 
to efficient calculations and speedy 

ternating pattern (at 300 dpi) creates 
rows of pixels at a 45-degree angle within 
the cell itself— too fine for accurate re- 

Halftoning with 
Resolution Enhancement 

Resolution enhancement ogives you the 
opportunity to emulate a halftone dot 
more precisely. Figure 3c shows what the 
LaserMaster controller can do. Because 
it's pixel-addressable along the *-axis, 
horizontal resolution enhancement im- 
proves the shape of the emulated dot. 
XLI's Super LGA technology goes a step 
further: It applies both horizontal and 
vertical enhancement techniques to the 
formation of the halftone dots (see figure 
3d). As a result, even more gray levels 
are available than through a simple hori- 
zontal resolution boost. 

In some cases, the halftone cell may 
not be square. Apple uses a rather un- 
usual shape with PhotoGrade. The de- 
fault cell pattern for PhotoGrade (see 
figure 4) results in a 45-degree, 106-lpi 
screen with 67 gray shades. The shape 
looks somewhat odd, but Apple claims 
that it lends itself to efficient calcula- 
tions, thus improving rendering speed. 

Halftone imaging can dramatically 
cut data-storage requirements. Consider 
a 16- by 16-pixel halftone cell. Such a 
cell supports 257 shades. If the pixels 
were stored individually as a bit map, 
they would require 256 bits, or 32 bytes 
of memory. When converted to a half- 
tone cell, the same image area can be 
stored as a single byte, because 256 gray 
levels can be described by one 8-bit se- 
lector. That's a dramatic reduction in 
memory requirements. 

MARCH 1992 -BYTE 271 


How much can modulated laser tech- 
niques improve halftone output? Simply 
using a higher-resolution bit map im- 
proves the output considerably; this is 
true for DP-Tek's TrueRes technology 
and LaserMaster's controller. In these 
cases, the effective resolution simply 
matches the output resolution. 

With techniques such as PhotoGrade 
and Super LGA, you must square the line 
screen and multiply by the number of 
gray levels to find the equivalent dot den- 
sity. PhotoGrade, with a 106- by 106- 
pixel halftone cell by 67 gray levels 
(equivalent to 752,812 dots), has about 
the same density as 867-dpi dithered out- 
put (867 2 = 75 1,869 dots). Super LGA, 
which claims a 150- by 150-pixel half- 
tone cell by 256 gray levels, has an equiv- 
alent density of 2400 dpi. 

This claim is the subject of some de- 
bate among users and vendors. Again, 
due to the indirect nature of the process, 
a region of dark grays may saturate to 
black. Similarly, light areas may not 
meet the threshold and print white. In 
other mixed areas, the interaction allows 
additional detail to appear, and the re- 
sulting images are quite impressive. 

Different Strokes 
for Different Vendors 

Laser modulation is now quite common 
for vertical resolution enhancement. But 
the implementation can vary significant- 
ly from company to company. One dif- 
ference lies in where the resolution en- 
hancement is processed— before or after 
the image is rasterized (i.e., converted 
into a pixel-by-pixel image). For exam- 
ple, LaserMaster, one of the pioneers in 
vertical resolution enhancement along 
edges, stores data as idealized images. 
This technique reduces the memory de- 
mands on the frame buffer. As each 
character prints, the TurboRes algo- 
rithm applies the ideal image shape to the 
real-time rasterization process. Hence, a 
stroke of fractional width can be raster- 
ized as a fractional width. 

HP's widely recognized RET takes 
the other tack. RET alters the image 
after it has been rasterized. The printer 
stores six lines of data and compares the 
pattern formed by each pixel and its 
nearest neighbors to known edge pat- 
terns. If a match is found, the printer 
modulates the laser to smooth the edges. 
Stored patterns include objects such as 

serifs (for smoother tapering) and line 
intersections (which need deemphasis to 
reduce toner pooling). Apple's FinePrint 
and DP-Tek's SST both use a similar ap- 
proach, although their edge-detecting al- 
gorithms differ. 

Where does the enhancement circuitry 
reside? Apple and HP make modifica- 
tions to the printer. These enhancements 
add to the appeal for a particular mod- 
el—and you can use the same printer 
with any number of hardware platforms 
(e.g., Macintosh, ISA, and Micro Chan- 
nel architecture systems). LaserMaster 
and XLI supply add-in cards, which 
means that you can upgrade many differ- 
ent printer models but are tied to a single 
bus architecture. 

DP-Tek's TrueRes modulation tech- 
nique is quite sophisticated— it can shape 
and position dots at any resolution up to 
double that of the native engine. By com- 
bining this effect with pixel-by-pixel 
addressability, TrueRes can reproduce 
odd resolution images, such as a fax 
(203 by 98 pixels or 203 by 196 pixels) 
or 240 by 240 pixels (a fairly standard 
resolution in Japan). These features are 
available in chip sets that laser-printer 

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vendors can purchase. The individual 
vendors then market a modified engine 
that competes with HP and Apple by add- 
ing value to the printer. TrueRes is also 
available in the form of a separate con- 
troller called TruePoint, so you can use it 
to upgrade existing laser printers. 

LaserMaster emphasizes master-page 
production for offset printing, where 
clean edges and faithful reproduction of 
type is important. TurboRes claims a 
1000- by 1000-dpi resolution, although 
the continuous nature of vertical en- 
hancement allows much finer vertical 
control. As of this writing, LaserMaster 
does not store bit-mapped data in a half- 
tone format. Instead, the company uses a 
dithered frame buffer that matches the 
vertical scan density of the engine (400 
lines for its own hardware) and boosts the 
horizontal resolution to 1000 dpi. Laser- 
Master's dithering algorithms faithfully 
reproduce variable line screens and an- 
gles. It supports both PC and Macintosh 
platforms. The company also supplies 
adapters for 300-dpi laser printers, as 
well as its own printer, which uses a 400- 
dpi engine. 

By the time you read this, Laser- 
Master will have announced an upgrade 
called TurboGray that applies TurboRes 
vertical-resolution enhancement tech- 
niques to halftone images. By prepro- 
cessing several formats (e.g., PostScript 
and PCL 4), LaserMaster controllers can 
apply the proper enhancement technol- 
ogy to the right image— edge or bit map. 

Whereas LaserMaster stresses edge 
enhancement and applies dithering meth- 
ods to halftone images, XLI enhances 
halftone images with shaped (i.e., verti- 
cally enhanced) dots. As of this writing, 
XLI does not enhance text, although 
such a feature should be available by the 
time you read this. XLI produces an 
OEM product that combines other edge- 
enhancement technologies to text. 

XLFs Super LGA technology is em- 
bodied in the company's LaserPix con- 
troller, which targets Microsoft Win- 
dows applications. When a Windows 
application sends output to the printer, 
the LaserPix grabs the gray-scale images 
and processes them through the laser 
printer's I/O port,. Meanwhile, other 
data continues through the parallel or 
serial connection. By synchronizing the 
I/O transmission with the drum motion, 
the LaserPix can add the enhanced im- 
ages while the page prints. If the laser 
printer supports edge smoothing (as the 
LaserJet Series III does), your output can 
have the combined enhancements of both 

The LaserPix controller provides only 

two screens: 75 lines at a 63-degree angle 
and 150 lines at a 0-degree angle. Both 
screens use 256 gray levels. For most off- 
set printing, 150 lines is too fine. XLI 
has targeted this resolution for use in im- 
aging applications, where direct output is 
useful or economical; for example, med- 
ical imaging and electron microscopy 
often use expensive Polaroid cameras to 
capture images. With the LaserPix, you 
can use a laser printer as a fairly inexpen- 
sive substitute for photographic repro- 

Print speed is also emphasized with 
the LaserPix. Indeed, screen selections 
have been limited to optimize the rasteri- 
zation algorithms. The controller trans- 
fers images to the printer much faster 
than a parallel or serial port. As long as 
the print run is fairly small, the system is 
useful for multiple copies. 

Apple includes edge and gray-scale 
enhancement on its printers. FinePrint 
provides the edge enhancement, and 
PhotoGrade improves gray-scale images. 
These technologies are available in the 
new LaserWriter IIF and IIG Grayscale 

Apple uses a mix of pre- and postpro- 
cessing to keep PhotoGrade and Fine- 
Print from interfering with each other. 
The FinePrint postprocessing circuitry 
recognizes the PhotoGrade format and 
turns itself off when a bit-mapped image 
is processing. Earlier, I showed you that 
PhotoGrade uses 67 gray shades— a 
seemingly strange choice, since that 
works out to 8.375 levels per pixel. Why 
not an even 8 or 9 levels? Due to varia- 
tions in physical properties (e.g., toner 
particle size), what may appear as subtly 
different shades of gray in one print run 
may appear as the same shade in the next 
run. Apple's experiments showed that 67 
levels per halftone cell was a practical 
maximum for consistent results. In fact, 
the PhotoGrade format allows for 16 
levels per pixel (or 128 levels per cell), so 
Apple is leaving room for expansion. 

Pushing Laser Printers to the Limit 

Apple is taking a conservative approach 
in limiting its gray scale to 67 shades. It 
is possible to push the engine to higher 
effective resolutions, as companies such 
as XLI are doing. But even at claimed ef- 
fective resolutions of 2400 dpi, it would 
be premature to proclaim the demise of 
the phototypesetter. Although the effec- 
tive resolutions offered by these en- 
hancement techniques approach or ex- 
ceed the levels offered by typesetters, the 
laser-printer images are not as sharp. 
The interaction between toner and drum 
and even gear noise from the paperf eed 

mechanism (which appears as dark 
bands on the printout) limit the clarity of 
plain paper output. 

Nevertheless, many applications do 
not require the full clarity of phototype- 
setter output. Enhanced laser-printer 
output offers a marked improvement over 
standard 300-dpi printing. Certainly, 
there are many people who use 300-dpi 
pages for camera-ready output. For these 
users, resolution enhancement offers a 
cost-effective path to higher quality. You 
can also directly use the plain paper out- 
put of a laser printer for applications as 
simple as correspondence or as complex 
as small-volume production. With the 
various enhancement options available, 
you can select a price and features that 
are appropriate for your specific task. ■ 

Bradley Dyck Kliewer is the principal of 
DK Micro, a PC and AS/400 consulting 
firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is 
author of EGA/ VGA: A Programmer's 
Reference Guide, 2d ed. (McGraw-Hill, 
1990), and he can be reached on BIX as 
"bkliewer. " 


Apple Computer, Inc. 

20525 Mariani Ave. 

Cupertino, CA 95014 


Circle 977on Inquiry Card. 

DP-Tek, Inc. 

9920 East Harry 
Wichita, KS 67207 
Circle 978 on Inquiry Card. 


3000 Hanover St. 

Palo Alto, CA 94304 

(800) 752-0900 


Circle 979on Inquiry Card. 

LaserMaster Technologies, Inc. 

7156 Shady Oak Rd. 
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 
(612) 944-9330 
fax: (612) 943-3469 
Circle 980 on Inquiry Card. 

XLI Corp. 

800 West Cummings Park, Suite 6650